Taken together, fires and explosions rank fourth on the BoatUS list of most common insurance claims, behind hurricane damage, striking submerged objects, and sinking. Most of those are fires without explosions, though, and are more commonly caused by defective wiring or overloaded shorepower connections than by fuel leaks. Statistics released by the U. S. Coast Guard paint an even safer picture. Of the 4,789 accidents they recorded in 2008, only 48 were attributed to "ignition of spilled fuel or vapor" and another 32 to "fuel system failure." Together, these incidents caused two deaths-about ¼ of one percent of the total 709 for the year-and 51 injuries.That said, those two deaths were two too many, and some of these injuries involved severe burns. In addition, the partial or complete loss of 80 boats could have been avoided.