U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Reminds Boaters of Proper Fueling Techniques


[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary would like to remind boaters of the importance of safe fueling practices. Without using extreme care serious accidents can occur that can cost lives and cause major damage to boats and other property.

It is important to remember to regularly check all fuel lines for cracks or leaks and to replace them right away. Fuel line connections should be tightened frequently since engine vibration can loosen them. It’s a good idea to create and follow a safe fueling checklist.

Before fueling make sure to turn off all engines and electrical equipment and to shut off all fuel valves. Close all doors, hatches, windows, portholes, and other openings to prevent fuel vapors from settling in compartments. Keep the fuel nozzle in direct contact with the filler plate if using an internal fuel tank. Portable tanks should be removed from the boat for filling. After fueling open all windows and hatches and if the boat is equipped with a power ventilation blower turn it on. Allow the boat to air out for at least 4 minutes to remove any gas vapors.

Following these guidelines can greatly reduce accidents when fueling a boat:

• Never fill the tank to the brim, leave room for the fuel to expand.
• Put the cap on tightly when done to prevent vapors from escaping.
• Immediately wipe up any spilled gas and properly dispose of the rags.
• Store gas only in approved storage tanks.
• Never start the engine until you are sure all the compartments are free of gas vapors.

All of these tips and other important safe boating information can be learned in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary boating class, “About Boating Safely”. The Course is designed for boaters of all ages and experience with an emphasis on recreational boating safety. More information about the course, including how to find a class nearby, can be found at aboutboatingsafely.com.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed civilian component of the U.S. Coast Guard and supports the Coast Guard in nearly all mission areas. The Auxiliary was created by Congress in 1939. For more information, please visit www.cgaux.org.