Fresh figures from the National Rescue Center of Southern Norway (HRS) show that inn 2017, there were 74 fires on pleasure craft in Norway, compared to 41 the previous year, leading to a call for better controls.
‘I think most people will be surprised at how soon a pleasure boat can catch fire, or at least from when it’s first detected, how quickly it burns,’ said Jarle Øversveen, Head of Department at the HRS to NRK news.
He believes many are gambling with their own security, and is supported by the new figures. They show that there are rarely more fires on land. He encouraged boaters to gain more knowledge of what is actually required to maintain a boat.
Over the past 10 years, about 600 pleasure boats have started to burn in Norway. 2017 was only beaten by 2014, when there were 79 fires. The reason is often overloads in the electrical sockets.
While professional boats have strict rules for maintenance, and service, on board, there are no such requirements for pleasure boats.
‘There are often spaghetti arrangements in the electrics. There are cables everywhere, they’ve found a space and connected it,’ said Ruben Langseth, skipper on the rescue boat Kristian Gerhard Jebsen, stationed at Egersund. He imagines annual safety checks of recreational craft.
Figures from Finance Norway show that injuries cost insurance companies around NOK 450 million a year.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today