April 17, 2024

Boat catches fire on the Rez, towed to safety by another boat

Darkhorse Press

Photo: Reservoir Fire Department

A boat caught on fire with two passengers and a dog aboard, according to Reservoir Fire Chief Josh Swales.

Swales said a couple and their dog went out on an older model cabin cruiser style Sea Ray they had just gotten worked on. As soon as they got it out of the shop, they had gone and put 100 gallons of gas in it and taken it out on the Reservoir.

The couple had taken the boat toward the Madison side of the Reservoir and were on their way back to the Rankin side when the man said he heard something that sounded like a backfire and wondered what it was. He then noticed he was losing power and heard two more backfire sounds.

“Then the smoke started billowing out of it,” Swales said.

The couple immediately bailed out of the boat with their dog.

“There were people out there fishing, and there were a number of boats who came and helped them,” Swales said.

The fire department was dispatched around 1:13 p.m., the chief said.

Sea Tow keeps a boat in the immediate area of where the couple’s boat caught on fire and were able to tow the boat to the Rankin boat landing so Reservoir firefighters could extinguish the fire.

Swales said it took about 7,000 gallons of water as well as a substantial amount of foam to put the fire out, and the full gas tank played a big part in that.

WAPT’s Scott Simmons posted video of the tow.

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