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post #1 of Old 08-04-2010 Thread Starter
Once known as Hartley18
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Boat explosion finally reaches a conclusion

This is a follow-up to a thread a couple of years ago about an old wooden (really nice) powerboat that blew up soon after refuelling here in 2008 - some might remember.

For those that don't, an elderly couple were killed when their son's boat blew up shortly after refuelling at Melbourne's Pier 35, South Wharf, on the Yarra River. The resulting typical knee-jerk reaction caused increased insurance premiums for wooden boat owners, both sail & power, and a shortage of Surveyors willing to sign off on any old wooden boat.

It seems like this sad story has finally reached a conclusion, but I, for one, don't like to think of the ramafications for anyone using petrol (that's gasoline to you folks) including outboard motors... read on:

Their son, Anthony Elliot, bought the "Leda II" for $28,000 from broker, Scott O'Hare at Aussie Boat Sales at Anchorage Marina, Port Melbourne. He had taken possession of the older style boat just hours before the explosion.

In examining the cause of the explosion, Victorian Coroner, Peter White, found the boat had faulty tanks and fuel lines, and exploded when the engine was started. He found Mr O'Hare knew of the poor condition of the boats tanks and the probable contamination of the fuel lines before he sold it. He said Mr O'Hare had understood the boat's safety was compromised and failed in his duty to inform the buyers.

During the hearing, Mr Elliot testified Mr O'Hare had told him he had cleaned and serviced the carburettors and the boat was running 'like a new boat". However, the court was told that prior to Mr Elliot's interest, the broker, and the salesman, Phil Grundy, had become frustrated in their efforts to sell the boat because they could not get it to start, or to reach "runabout stage".

The Coroner told the court he was also concerned by the understaffing and under-resourcing at the Marine Police Unit tasked to investigate and prosecute non-compliance by boat owners and brokers.

He recommended:

- Resources available to Victoria Police's Marine Division be increased.

- A campaign further highlighting the dangers involved in the use of petrol-driven inboard motor cruisers.

- Introduction of legislation requiring mechanical surveys for all petrol-powered boats 15 year or older.

- Introduction of legislation to improve design standards for petrol-fuelled boats.

Victoria's Ports Minister, Tim Pallas, says the state's boat registration laws will be strengthened. "The Government has been in the process of rewriting the Marine Safety Act," he said. "It will be introduced in to Parliament in the next few weeks and will incorporate increased rigour around the process of how vessels go to sea", Mr Pallas said.
Elderly couple died in faulty boat: coroner - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

A bad day on a boat beats a good day in the office
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