One man was hurt after an explosion on a boat at the Oyster River marina. Dean Stoltz reports.
The peace and quiet Saturday morning at Pacific Playgrounds Resort and Marina was rocked by an explosion.
“It startled everyone, it was a big bang, heard through the park.” Resort Manager Warren Janes said.
The explosion happened on a boat, quickly engulfing it in flames. It’s believed a man onboard had just started the ignition when something went wrong. He managed to get off the boat but suffered a broken arm, several cuts and minor burns. Another man with him standing on the dock was unhurt.
“Upon arrival, there was a boat that was fully engulfed and the one behind us that you can see was partially engulfed” Oyster River Fire Department Deputy Chief Chris Murray said.
“We pulled off a couple of booster lines, we were able to get them over to the wharf and started putting water on the fires themselves.”
The fire chief was first on scene and quickly untied one boat that was moored right next to the burning one and pulled it to a safer spot.
The flames were doused in about 15 minutes but the fishing boat burned to the waterline and sank. A sailboat tied up in the next slip was heavily damaged, but fire crews and favourable weather are being credited with preventing more boats from being damaged.
“Could have been much worse, you know, lucky it wasn’t a really windy day either because it could spread that way but the fire department was here within minutes and it was well-contained,” Janes said.
Battling a boat fire has extra challenges for firefighters. They wear PFD’s in case they fall in the water, but getting hoses to the fire can be difficult, not to mention the danger of further explosions.
“Some are diesel, some are gas,” Murray said. “Some people have lots of propane tanks on them, some people have a lot of extra fuel on them that if they do explode they will go up pretty fast.”
The Coast Guard was called in to help contain any fuels in the water and later in the day the boat was recovered. Large balloons were used raise the burned hull. It was put on a trailer and hauled out.
The boat’s owner is now recovering.