Spanish Plume could cause sinkings

An insurance company is warning of an increased risk of boats sinking or flooding this weekend due to heavy rain caused by the Spanish Plume

While temperatures may be in the high twenties in many parts of the UK today, this hot weather, courtesy of the Spanish Plume, also suggests that thunderstorms are on their way and Navigators and General (N&G) says that if you don’t take precautions to secure your boat it may be at an increased risk of sinking.

As the name suggests, the Spanish Plume is a wedge of warm air that pushes north from Spain and reaches the British Isles on a southerly airflow. When this mass meets the much cooler Atlantic air that reaches us from the west, the very warm ‘plume’ air is pushed above the cooler air with such force that it produces thunderstorms.

N&G says that wooden boats are most at risk of sinking following the dry spell as deck and hull seams may open up, particularly if there is more water than the cockpit drains or automatic bilge pumps can cope with. And they are not alone: open boats could be in danger should the bilge pump fail, RIBs are at risk of their outboards fully immersing, while larger boats can also take on too much water if water outlets go below the waterline.

A spokesperson for N&G said, “N&G has seen a number of claims over the years for

sinking motorboats where exhaust outlets are submerged under the waterline

and leak into the boat or enginebay.

Cockpit lockers and engine covers that leak can send water into the bilges, especially if drains are blocked by debris. If not pumped out over prolonged periods it can lead to serious damage and even sinking.”

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N&G advises boaters to regularly check your vessel (or get someone else to do so on your behalf) and take action if necessary. Check for wearing mooring lines, blocked cockpit drains, tearing covers or canopies, and especially check on heaters and dehumidifiers.


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