Scary situation as fire breaks out on ABN AMRO Two. Simon Fisher describes what happened 19/1/06
With less than 1,000 miles to go we thought we going to get away without
too much drama on the final part of this leg however, this afternoon made
sure that this would not be the case! Whilst I was upstairs enjoying a
bit of salt spray in the face the boat decided to catch fire. Seb
(Sebastien Josse) raised the alarm and immediately Bicey (Nick Bice) and I
ran downstairs only to find a smoke filled boat. Instantly, suspecting a
charging fault, we began pulling the covers off the generator only to
discover that the smoke was still coming and that it was behind us.
Something had shorted out and the Nav Station was melting down.
We quickly found the offending wires – the ones with smoke pouring from
them (so not too tricky) and cut them away. However, with everything
switched off there was still a lot of electricity flying around and
everything I seemed to touch was live. Whilst this was a little
unpleasant on my wet hands and had me jumping around like a cat on hot
bricks in a tiny space in the back of the Nav station, the other effect it
had was somewhat more serious. All this loose electricity had to ground
somewhere and a bracket holding one of the instruments had begun glowing
red hot and was burning through the boat. This cued a whole load more
chopping of wires until the burning stopped leaving me with a rather smoky
Nav station and an unpleasant burnt epoxy smell to work in.
However, we have managed to get most things up and running again in order
to get ourselves into Melbourne at full pace.
With everything sorted out to the best of our abilities we were able to
sit back and have a laugh about the situation – in the midst of myself and
Bicey trying to locate the fire someone had climbed out of their bunk and
asked “Bicey, Can I borrow that torch? I think I dropped one of my socks
in the bilge!” It’s always amusing to see how some people act in a
It is all back to normal now though and we continue our charge to
Melbourne. We can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel now, but
luckily no smoke!
Si FI. Simon Fisher