Abandon Ship!

When someone who lives aboard their boat dies in tragic circumstances (link) it brings it home to all of us how easily things can go so terribly wrong.

When we lived in the house and had students, we had an evacuation plan and made sure our visitors were aware of the exits and our RVP in the case of an emergency.
rvpBeing on the boat is no different (apart from the unlikelihood of overnight visitors), and Hubby and I are in complete agreement as to our procedure should we need to vacate our home in a hurry.
We each have a BUGOUT bag, and the priority is to get ourselves and the dog to safety, and if the boat sinks, it sinks.
We’re insured, and there is nothing aboard risking our lives for, though obviously if we had adequate warning we can collect relevant documentation which is kept all in one place. Possessions, however personal, are just ‘stuff’ and can be replaced. Our lives can’t.

There’s probably only one thing worse than having to evacuate the boat and that is having to do it in the middle of the night.
alarm smoke alarm
We have three fire extinguishers and two alarms on board, one for carbon monoxide, AKA the Silent Killer, and a smoke alarm. Both batteries are checked regularly, and we know the smoke alarm works because every time I fry bread, I set it off.
Once a year, the Fire Brigade carry out informative safety visits at random on marinas, and we have invited the guys in for our own peace of mind if nothing else.
Every four years, boats have to be issued with a safety certificate before they are permitted on the water, and so alarms and extinguishers are compulsory.

Last night was particularly hot and muggy.
We were atop the bed covers, and the hatchways were open as were all possible windows.
Maggie was flaked out on the bottom of the bed, Hubby was restless, and I couldn’t get my knee organised.
Suddenly, the smoke alarm went off.

We were both up and reaching for our clothes in seconds, me throwing the hatch cover over the back door back as far as it would go.
All the lights were turned on (we have two-way switches at each end of the boat), and we were both sniffing the air to ascertain where the smoke was coming from.
Except there wasn’t any.
The alarm shut off after four beeps and all was silent.

I couldn’t tell you what the time was, as I had one leg in my joggers and finding a clock was the last thing on my mind.
Maggie went back to sleep.
We couldn’t smell anything untoward.
We couldn’t see any danger.
We had no idea what had triggered it, but knew we hadn’t dreamt it.
Hubby checked outside.
There was no smoke coming from anyone else that could have filtered in. In fact the sky was clear and still.

We got back into bed, though it was a while before we relaxed enough to go to sleep.

Hubby has done a thorough check this morning.
The batteries in both alarms are good. Everything is as it should be.
What is so strange is that the alarm actually went off, not that intermittent five minute chirrup warning of a low battery.

I haven’t seen any of the other residents this morning to find out if we disturbed anyone.
Still, it was a good exercise in our evacuation procedure, and at least we know our reflexes are good!
stop 1 wash boatPhoto: Offenham, returning from Stratford-upon-Avon last year.

About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! We have recently lost our beloved dog Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney, and now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of my GSD so had hers done too. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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18 Responses to Abandon Ship!

  1. Could the heat and mugginess set if off? Sure hope it doesn’t happen again.

    • We have no idea. Hubby reckons it could have been a build up of dust or similar, but with two other occurences this afternoon, we’ve bought a new one. Safety aboard is paramount, and we never skimp on it.

  2. janegundogan says:

    Must have given you a real fright but yes you guys are ready for action if need be

    • We had another beeping session this afternoon for no apparent reason, and despite changing the batteries, the damn thing went off yet again! No messing about, we’ve been out and purchased a new alarm.

      • janegundogan says:

        You know we’ve just built a new apartment upstairs. I requested a smoke alarm be installed – got ignored by the builder. I went out only yesterday and brought three smoke alarms, 1 for mine, 1 for empty apartment and 1 for rented apartment on ground floor. Do I feel safer? Yep!

        Turkish people are incredibly lazy. Smoke alarm? Nope. Don’t need it. Just additional work. Yeah well you do need it you gooses!

  3. I’m glad all is well and there was nothing wrong. Though it appears you have a boat ghost!

  4. You can never be too cautious on a boat. What a middle of the night start.
    Maybe dust and overall heat agaianst boat’s ceiling…or that boat ghost/prankster swan as mentioned above.

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