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Man pulled from burning boat wreckage following explosion

PUBLISHED: 13:28 07 January 2019 | UPDATED: 07:41 08 January 2019

The explosion happened moments after the vessel’s engine was started at the Griffin Marina on Sunday afternoon. Photo: HM Coastguard Gorleston

The explosion happened moments after the vessel’s engine was started at the Griffin Marina on Sunday afternoon. Photo: HM Coastguard Gorleston

Archant

A man had to be pulled from the burning wreckage of a boat after it exploded in Thorpe St Andrew.

The explosion happened moments after the vessel’s engine was started at the Griffin Marina on Sunday afternoon. Photo: HM Coastguard GorlestonThe explosion happened moments after the vessel’s engine was started at the Griffin Marina on Sunday afternoon. Photo: HM Coastguard Gorleston

The explosion happened moments after the vessel’s engine was started at the Griffin Marina on Sunday afternoon.

It then caught fire and started to sink with a man on board.

The Broads Authority said a member of public on a nearby boat managed to reach the casualty and pull him from the burning vessel.

He was then taken to hospital with a serious leg injury, the ambulance service said.

The explosion happened moments after the vessel’s engine was started at the Griffin Marina on Sunday afternoon. Photo: HM Coastguard GorlestonThe explosion happened moments after the vessel’s engine was started at the Griffin Marina on Sunday afternoon. Photo: HM Coastguard Gorleston

A Broads Authority spokesman the boat’s V6 engine had been filled with about 20 litres of petrol shortly before the explosion.

The spokesman said: “A week previous to the incident they had difficulties with the vessel’s V6 petrol inboard engine.

“On the day in question the individual on board at the time put twenty litres of petrol into the engine and started it. The boat exploded and caught fire.”

Emergency services were called to the scene at about 12.50pm. The fire service had to use five litres of compressed foam to extinguish the flames.

The explosion happened moments after the vessel’s engine was started at the Griffin Marina on Sunday afternoon. Photo: HM Coastguard GorlestonThe explosion happened moments after the vessel’s engine was started at the Griffin Marina on Sunday afternoon. Photo: HM Coastguard Gorleston

The authority spokesman said: “Unfortunately the boat sunk in the basin beyond the Griffin marina. “Broads Authority rangers undertook measures to collect and contain the foam in the water, and there was no other pollution visible.”

The boat’s owner was not present at the time of the explosion, the authority said. Instead, it was her partner on board.

The authority said the vessel, which is said to be about 24ft long, was insured and up-to-date with its tolls.

However, an investigation is underway to determine whether any further actions needs to be taken.

Smoke can be seen rising from the scene. Picture: Annabelle DicksonSmoke can be seen rising from the scene. Picture: Annabelle Dickson

Boat owner Douglas Lutkin, 73, said his vessel suffered minor damage from the fire.

He said: “We got a phone call to come down as our boat was in the danger area. We came down, but luckily they had already moved it out of the way.

“The hull was still floating and smoking when we arrived. The fire hoses were pointed at it, and they kept spraying it until it sunk.”

Fire crews from Earlham, Sprowston and Carrow attended the incident, along with Norfolk police, the ambulance service and the coastal rescue team from Gorleston.

The Broads Authority said a member of public on a nearby boat managed to reach the casualty and pull him from the burning vessel. Photo: Ben PriceThe Broads Authority said a member of public on a nearby boat managed to reach the casualty and pull him from the burning vessel. Photo: Ben Price

• Do you know who helped rescue the man? Email luke.powell@archant.co.uk or call 01603 772684

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