First Arriving Network
First Arriving Network

How to Put Out a Boat Fire Without Laying a Line

Kiwi Ingenuity on Display

A PLEASURE BOAT ON Lake Lyndon in New Zealand  caught on fire Friday, but it was a long ways from the nearest fire station.

New Zealand Herald image

But just like Mighty Mouse coming to save the day, an unknown speedboat pilot showed up just in time to use his seamanship skills to douse the flames. Take a look at his technique, then plan the station drill for next Spring, if you have a boat in service.


Pick-up and back-in-service just takes seconds.

In a report on the fire, the New Zealand Herald tells:

Wellington man Hayden Oliver started filming when he spotted the boat burning fiercely in the water on Canterbury's Lake Lyndon on Friday afternoon.

As he filmed, a speedboat that had been at the other side of the lake approached at speed and turned sharply at the last moment, sluicing water over the fire. It repeated this at least four times.

"It was definitely a brave idea. There's two sides to it really: it was dangerous but it was brave at the same time," Oliver said. He had spoken to the boat's owner who said the fire started as he revved the motor and it was probably caused by an electrical fault. "The guy just jumped ship," he said. Oliver didn't know who the two people in the speedboat were, he said, "just good sorts in a boat".

Dave Black, the deputy harbour master for lakes Wanaka, Wakatipu and Hawea, said he had adopted the same tactic when a boat caught fire on Lake Wakatipu seven or eight years ago.

"We turned the boat one way and squirted water on to the fire quite easily, and we did have a fire crew on board as well," he said. "I wouldn't call it a legitimate tactic but if it puts the fire out, then so be it. As long as everyone gets out safe I don't have a problem with it."

Read the full story HERE.

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