Don’t make this mistake: gas placed in a rod holder caused a boat explosion, injuring three people.
EMS arrived to the scene at Ocean Isle Fishing Company on Friday June 2, shortly after a boat exploded and injured three people. The cause of the explosion? Gas was mistakenly poured into a rod holder instead of the gas tank. The boat explosion caused two to be airlifted to Chapel Hill Burn Clinic. The third victim reported by WECT arrived in a hospital in Myrtle Beach shortly after as well.
North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission Master Officer Scott Pritchard said the victims were boat owner and operator David Richard Martin Jr., 40, of Charlotte; passenger Jonathan Leslie Bickett, 35, of Charlotte and Sea Tow Employee Kendrick Stanley Schwarz, 24, of Brunswick County.
Unfortunately, twenty-eight gallons of gas poured into the fishing rod holder created a sheen on the water, said Jeff Williamson who runs a fishing charter out of Ocean Isle Beach.
“I advised him he better call a tow company to tow him back to the marina instead of cranking the boat because it might explode. The inevitable happened.”
Sea Tow’s Schwarz arrived and told the two boaters to disconnect the battery cables so a spark wouldn’t ignite the gasoline.
However, during the disconnection, a spark ignited and caused the explosion.
Both the restaurant and fishing center nearby evacuated, and it took 10-to-15 minutes for crews to put out the fire.
As of Saturday Bickett is in good condition, and Martin is in fair condition according to Tom Hughes at the Burn Clinic.
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