3 injured in boat explosion after gas pumped into fishing rod holder

Posted at 9:11 AM, Jun 05, 2017

OCEAN ISLE BEACH, N.C. — Three people were injured after a boat exploded while parked at a dock along the North Carolina coast, according to WECT.

According to reports, the incident happened on Friday when two people fueling the boat accidentally put 28 gallons of gas into a fishing rod holder.

Jeff Williamson told WECT he noticed a sheen of gas on the water and told them about their mistake. He advised they call a tow company instead of cranking the boat because it might cause an explosion.

When the boaters disconnected the battery cables, a spark ignited the gasoline and caused the explosion.

David Martin Jr., 40, of Charlotte; passenger Jonathan Bickett, 35, of Charlotte; and Kendrick Schwarz, 24, of Brunswick County were injured. Martin and Bickett were airlifted to a local burn clinic where they were treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Crews had the boat fire out in less than 15 minutes. A nearby restaurant and fishing center had to be temporarily evacuated.