Explosions of watercraft happen more frequently than realized and its important to understand the causes, resulting injuries and what you can do. Although fires and explosions can and do occur on traditional water vehicles, personal watercraft such as Jet Skis, Sea-Doos, and Waverunners are more susceptible to explosions because of their design.
The United States Coast Guard defines a personal water craft as one that is less than thirteen feet in length, able to carry up to four people, and uses a jet stream for forward movement. While all personal watercraft have inboard engines they do not have a bilge blower which is a fan used to ventilate gas fumes in and around enclosed engine compartment spaces. Without this fan clearing out gas vapors in a PWC, the standard method required by the USCG is to passively vent the gas through openings when the watercraft is in motion.
The problem arises when the personal watercraft has not been in motion and has accumulated gas vapors. If the evaporation from as little as 1 tablespoon of gasoline has entered the engine compartment with ignition it could cause a fire explosion resulting in very serious burns, injuries and possibly death. There are many reasons flammable gas could enter the engine compartment ranging from defects in the fuel lines, cracked gaskets, fuel tank holes, poor servicing, inferior parts, faulty manufacturing and more. These same reasons also lead to the unintended transfer of electricity from the electrical system components aboard the craft which ignite the fuel-air mixture and produce the explosion.
Whatever the reason for the explosion of a Jet Ski, or similar craft, the resulting injuries can be severe. The victim is often left with deadly burns and complications from impact after being thrown from the watercraft. Impacts from hitting the shore, other vehicles, property and the water itself can causes disfigurement and life long debilitating injuries. Many times jet boats like the Waverunner and Sea-doo have been documented exploding at the dock, in a driveway, on a trailer causing fires injuries and other property damage.
Our law firm has the resources and experience necessary to take on corporations who have caused injuries such as these from exploding watercraft. Get justice; contact us today.