Witnesses hear explosion before man jumps into dingy to escape the flames.
“Next thing you know there was a big bang and then flames.”
That is how witness Lynda Hall described what she saw in the Comox Harbour late Sunday afternoon.
A live-aboard boat between the federal dock and Goose Spit had suddenly burst into flames.
“I’m not sure if something blew up in the boat, if it’s propane or what but yeah the flames were pretty high” Hall told CHEK News.
“There was what looked like a Bayliner at a marine buoy out in the harbour of Comox and it was fully engulfed in flames” said another witness John Vye.
The lone man on board the burning board referred to on social media as Harold is said to have lived on the boat and when it caught fire he escaped by jumping into a dingy.
“We were still uncertain if there was anyone on the vessel. Our fireboat was in the water, fire boat arrived within a couple of minutes and we started to extinguish the fire” said Comox Fire Captain Corey Brooks.
The boat was heavily damaged and eventually sank to the bottom with all of the man’s belongings.
He was brought to shore where waiting paramedics treated him on the scene for unknown injuries.
There are unconfirmed reports that electrical problems caused the fire.
“I’ve been living aboard for 30 odd years and I’ve seen that a few times. It can happen on a lot of electrical problems or heaters malfunctioning, it can be all kinds of reasons” said Vye.
The coast guard was on scene to put oil booms in the water to limit any environmental damage and a vessel from Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue from Station 60 Comox attended as well.