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Old 26 July 2012, 04:13   #1
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Rib Explosion

St. Quay-Portrieux Marina in Northern Brittany recently took possession of a new battery powered rib for their marina staff.

They had it on charge overnight next to the fuel berth, next morning one of the operators jumped in it and turned the key which obviously caused a bit of a spark.....

I had not long got up and was stood in the cockpit with a cuppa in my hand. It went off quite literally like a hydrogen bomb
I saw bits of the boat going 60-80ft in the air, how anyone could survive that is beyond me.

The guy is pretty seriously injured but not life threatening I understand. Facial burns, dislocated jaw, fractured tib, fib, ribs and a few other bits. internal organs dislodged somewhat as well I'm told.

Talking to one of the senior attendants, its all over the news in France and there's going to be repercussions for the marina, some of the H&S failings he was telling me about are pretty serious.
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Old 26 July 2012, 05:02   #2
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Very lucky man lets hope he makes a full recovery. I think think that the H+S boys will be looking at why there was a power supply so near to a petrol pump.
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Old 26 July 2012, 05:03   #3
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What type of batts does it use?

Lipo is the ones to watch. Li-fe are normally canned cells so much safer than lipos which are normally foil and don't like salt, bad combo in a boat!

This is of course assuming the batts caused it and not fumes.

Cheers
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Old 26 July 2012, 05:24   #4
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Maybe it was fumes/vapour from the fuel pump getting trapped in the rib and nothing to to with the batteries???
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Old 26 July 2012, 06:51   #5
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Hmm dont most batteries when on charge give off Hydrogen when charging.
Hence the warnings on them to charge in a well ventilated area.

looks like a H2 explasion as no sooting from a pertol explosion.

Hope the chap gets well soon
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Old 26 July 2012, 08:35   #6
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Firstly, I hope the marina guy makes a full and fast recovery.

Secondly, charging batteries, next to petrol, on water - there was only ever going to be one out come in the end unfortunately.
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Old 26 July 2012, 09:04   #7
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Is it either the petrol vapour which will have ( i think ) sunk downward and so could have been sitting the boat , or wouldn't any hydrogen rise up and out of the boat ( assuming its been designed with vents to allow this ? )
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Old 26 July 2012, 09:48   #8
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I wondered about the hydrogen. If it was petrol, the area the fumes were in would have been ventilated deckspace and thus unlikely to remain there for long. The batteries may not have been properly ventilated, or the vent covered with something. The removed tubes suggests that something blew them off - an explosion between the deck and hull space?
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Old 26 July 2012, 09:53   #9
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I only just considered why the helm is facing the back of the boat !
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Old 26 July 2012, 09:57   #10
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Just wrote a reply on my phone and it won't send, wifi a bit sporadic

Jezza and Willk are correct, batteries under the deck in a confined space, ventilation obviously inadequate for whatever reason. A spark from the motor if its exposed to the hydrogen gas built up under the deck or even just a loose connection sent the gas up which blew the top of the boat away from hull like it was a flip up lid, hence why the deck moulding is all at a funny angle, it came off and fell back down on to the boat.

The guy on board ended up being ejected in to the water and had to be fished out.

Thank f**k the fuel berth didn't get involved as a secondary, might well have taken me and plenty other people with it

The injured guy was good looking and a bit of a ladies man I'm told, that's what's going to hurt him most I think
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