Portable stoves should be used ashore and not on board, the Boat Safety Scheme has warned following an explosion at Westview Marina

Boatowners have been warned about the dangers of using portable stoves on board, after a gas cooker exploded at Westview Marina (pictured above).

The incident in Cambridgeshire caused burns to a mother and daughter who needed treatment from the Ambulance service.

However, even without exploding, portable stoves can be dangerous due to the risk of poisoning by carbon monoxide – a colourless and odourless gas that is created by incomplete combustion.

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Graham Watts, manager of the Boat Safety Scheme, said: “Even portable gas equipment can cause a powerful explosion, easily big enough to send people to hospital and wreck a boat.”

He explained that liquefied fuel escaping from a gas canister expands 250 times, which releases a huge amount of energy.

Alternatives suggested by the Boat Safety Scheme include marine spirit stoves or simply using a vacuum flask to store hot drinks.

Those using gas on board should store any spare canisters in a self-draining gas locker or on a well-ventilated deck area.

  • Eric Bloodaxe

    Cambridgeshire Fire Service reported that this incident occurred on shore in a tent, when the owners accidentally baked an aerosol deodorant in a (presumably mains electric) halogen oven. It did not happen on a boat and did not involve a gas cooker or gas/lpg cartridge. Some useful safety lessons would be never to cook sealed pressurised containers, to look in ovens before switching them on and not to take the BSS Office’s scaremongering about portable gas cookers on boats as gospel.