Fire service keep boats safe

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West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) is reminding sailing enthusiasts to take care when out on the waves and waterways this summer.

As part of the national Fire Kills campaign, fire bosses also want to highlight that people can benefit from a free boat fire safety check where firefighters will come and visit your vessel, to ensure that measures are in place to keep you safe.

And firefighters visited The Wharf in Sowerby Bridge to spread the word during Boat Fire Safety Week.

Watch Manager Oliver Crosland, from Calderdale District Team, said: “It’s true that the number of boat fires on our inland waters is relatively low, however, when they occur it can be dangerous as people are in a confined space.

“If you have health concerns, mobility issues, or if you can’t swim, it might not be as simple as jumping into the water to escape the fire and that’s why we just want people to make a plan ahead should the worst happen.

“So as we get into the summertime and boats are being brought out of hibernation, please run through our top tips – or better still give us a call and we will come and visit your boat and advise you.”

Nigel Stevens, director of Shire Cruisers which manages the Sowerby Bridge boatyard, said: “Fires on boats can be very nasty, but simple precautions and compliance with the Boat Safety Scheme can prevent them.

“We are very pleased to welcome West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to our boatyard. As well as our own holiday fleet, we have around 50 boats owned by customers. We encourage boat owners to take advantage of this free, expert advice.”

Calderdale Rotary Club has also offered to distribute boat fire safety leaflets next week along the canal from Sowerby Bridge to Todmorden.