Reporting Monique Griego
EDGEWATER, Md. (WJZ)— A holiday outing on the water nearly ends in tragedy in Anne Arundel County.
An explosion on a pleasure boat sends a number of people to the hospital, including several children.
Monique Griego has the latest from Edgewater.
Memorial Day boating quickly turned into a rescue mission after an engine explosion rocked this 32-foot Wellcraft.
Out of the nine people on board, at least seven were injured. The majority of them were children. ‘
Two children had to be medevaced for serious burns to their lower body.
“We saw that the dad was actually picking kids up and throwing them into the water and people were just frantically scrambling to get off the boat,” said witness Care Corradin.
Anne Arundel County fire investigators said the children may have been sitting on the engine compartment when it exploded at the Oak Grove Marina.
“And there was a ton of smoke just billowing out the back and the dad went back in and picked up all the life vests and he was throwing the life vests at the kids and the people in the water,” said Corradin.
Anne Arundel County Fire said the boat had just refueled and was drifting away from the dock when an engine cut off and they tried to restart it.
“With the engine compartments, it’s a confined area. Vapors build up and with attempting to start the engine creates a spark, and that in turn, causes the explosion,” said Lt. Jack Bell of Anne Arundel County Fire.
Bob McClean, who owns a local boat rental, had a crew show us how boats are equipped with blowers to help prevent such accidents.
“We teach all our customers to run the blower before you start the engine, no matter what,” said McClean.
Fire officials said the family’s blowers were in use before the explosion, so the investigation into how this happened continues.
“Everyone on board should count their blessings. It was very fortunate that we were close to the dock and we were able to get here so quickly,” said Capt. Charles Vernon of Maryland Natural Resources Police.
All the victims were taken to area hospitals. The two children with the most serious burns were taken to Johns Hopkins University’s burn unit.
Investigators confirm the children were not wearing life vests.