Fire & Friends

Getting towed out of a tunnel in Paris!
As the rest of Europe we have had a heatwave with 40 degrees +. It has been perfect being on the Marne river swimming and playing in the cool water. We met a lovely couple living on a barge with their ten year old son. And we spend some great days together ❤ 

We found out that we could take an alternative route towards the Mediterranean (via Canal du Loing & Loire valley) but we would have to sail back to Paris and then go south. When leaving Paris we suddenly smelled burned rubber, but could not locate it, and we were very much in doubt whether it was coming from us or from the outside. Phil looked through everything, but with no luck and as we shortly after were entering a smal tunnel we suddenly had smoke coming from the engine room. Quickly we got the kids out on the deck, and Philippe shot the fire extinguisher into the engine room (we did not check if there is a fire off course, then we would just give it a lot of oxygen!) We were now in a one way tunnel, it was all dark since the electronics got turned off. Philippe gets a hold of the VNF lock keeper so they aware our situation. We tie the boat to some stairs and I can take the kids outside of the tunnel where we wait for the towing boat to arrive. They pick us up very fast (since we are blocking the commercial traffic) and drop us off in the Marina we just left from (amazing service).

The boat was an unbelievable mess, the powder from the fire extinguisher was everywhere, the kids are having their rooms next to the engine, and therefor they have a layer of powder on everything (on their teddies, lego and all these small things they just have all over!) We both felt the task of cleaning this mess was almost too much! We could not be inside the boat, but the moment we went outside it started pouring down. Quickly we arranged a room close by, and started the cleaning of the boat. Philippe biked to buy a vacuum cleaner. When he comes back, he has scratches all over. On his way downhill, the seat of the folding-bike suddenly collapsed and he crashed, giving the new vacumer and himself a trip through the air. The day continues like this, so we go to bed early 🙂 

Treats to change the mood after a crazy day. Very happy this happened in Paris 😀

Now (three days after) we are back on the boat, all happy, clean and again in good spirit. The mechanic said we had done the right thing, since it probably would have turned into a proper fire quickly (we kept asking our selves if we could have done something different). The electronic unit fried completely, and there is no explanation why. We will get the new parts next week, so for now we are enjoying Paris, again. This time we are lying in the Nogent-sur-Marne area, which is close enough to center but greener, and nice ❤ 

Oh, and we also had a great start on boatschool this week. This year music is on the program, and it seems like a succes. It has been a mad week, soon weekend… in Paris 🙂


  1. Hi Philippe, Christina, Noah and Alice,

    Just a quick reply from me on your latest blog: What a scary situation ; a potential fire and just inside a tunnel. Something must have been overheated. Did you find the root cause of the problem? For Bodyguard I have planned (but still did not installed) an aerosol fire suppression system INSIDE the engine room. Basically It can be very small since the volume of the engine room itself is small. Systems like this do kill the fire for 100% if the calculations for the protected area are properly done. But note, if the engine is running and the engine air intake is not separate but flows thru the engine room the engine will take a lot of aerosol away before the fire is killed. That volume must also be taken into the calculation.

    For more information see the Wikipedia :

    Best regards and happy cruising, Dennis, Arianne, Eline & Laurens

    Op do 20 aug. 2020 om 21:40 schreef mawisailing :

    > mawisailing posted: ” Getting towed out of a tunnel in Paris! As the rest > of Europe we have had a heatwave with 40 degrees +. It has been perfect > being on the Marne river swimming and playing in the cool water. We met a > lovely couple living on a barge with their ten year o” >


    • The irony is that we wanted to install something similar (blazecut) but haven’t managed before departure because of the lock down. But they seem to work very well. On the other hand I don’t like the idea of the delay in time for the system to react. I.e. there needs to be a proper fire, whereas now we avoided greater damage by reacting very early. I would not exclusively rely on those systems. Rather clean up some mess… on the bright side the engine hasn’t been as clean as today 😆
      Hope you’re all doing well! Greetings from Paris


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s