An elderly man was injured Tuesday morning when his boat caught fire about 200 yards from a Marblehead marina.
Anne Brown, whose family owns Channel Grove Marina, said four men came into the marina in a wood Lyman motorboat to get fuel. The men told marina staff they smelled a slight odor of gasoline prior to docking.
Brown said after the men fueled the boat, they started to drive it out of the marina.
“We heard a big boom,” Brown said.
The boat’s motor exploded, igniting flames on the vessel. Brown said the men jumped from the boat into the water. Two of them were rescued by Brown’s brother-in-law and father-in-law while fire and emergency medical staff arrived at about 8:30 a.m.
“The boat didn’t explode — it didn’t send them into the water. It was the engine,” Brown said. “It’s not like it blew the boat to smithereens.”
Brown said the older man, thought to be in his 80s, swallowed a lot of water during the incident and had water in his lungs. He was taken by medical helicopter to a local hospital, though it wasn’t clear which one.
Calls to Marblehead Fire Department and Marblehead police were not answered Tuesday afternoon.