On Sunday afternoon, four boaters at the Halifax Harbor Marina were injured after their boat exploded during a refueling accident. One of the four people is a woman in her 50s that sustained severe burn injuries and had to be airlifted to the hospital following the incident.
According to FOX 35, the Daytona Beach Fire Department shared a statement on the matter. The department said the incident occurred at the Daytona Beach, Florida marina around 1:15 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. After the foursome refueled their seacraft, they attempted to turn the engine on, but the back half of the speed boat exploded.
First responders hurried to the scene where the other three patients were treated on-site. Each was released without needing further treatment at a hospital. The fourth who sustained severe burns was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center. Additionally, the Daytona Beach Police Department shared surveillance footage from a nearby building that shows the boat explode.
The owner of the boat spoke to officials following the explosion. The man told authorities that he had the boat’s blowers on, which are supposed to help eliminate gas vapors. However, officials reported that those vapors ignited, which caused the boat to explode. Officials are still investigating how that exactly happened though.
Not the First Time a Boat Exploded at a Harbor in Florida
Less than two years ago, almost the same exact incident occurred when a boat exploded a bit further south in Florida at a marina in Fort Lauderdale. Within minutes of refueling, a boat being used in a music video with more than 20 people aboard went up in flames. Fox News reported the explosion and shared video of the incident.
Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue workers and local authorities responded to an emergency call at the Fort Lauderdale Marine Center. When they arrived, they found heavy smoke and flames engulfing the boat.
Medics transported seven of the boaters to Broward Health Medical Center. Doctors considered two to be in critical condition, and medics airlifted another to a burn unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Previous to first responders arriving at the scene, nearby boaters Trent Perez, Zach Sparrow, and Bret King attempted to help passengers get off the boat that eventually exploded and succumbed to the fire.
“The smoke had just pretty much gotten to its high point, that the fire was about to start,” Sparrow said of the rescue to WSVN. “Seconds later, a flame started. They all jumped on, and we tried to get as far away as possible.”
One of the men on the boat named Abraham Alejandro described the scene just before the boat exploded.
“Out of nowhere, after just pumping gas maybe five, six minutes before. Out of nowhere, it completely exploded,” Alejandro said to the outlet.