Florida boat explosion sends owner flying onto dock, hurls his daughter into the water

Updated: Dec. 2, 2019 at 9:17 AM EST
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PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - The blast from a fuel explosion sent a man through the air from his deck boat to the dock and hurled his daughter into the water.

The sheriff’s office in Pinellas County says around 4pm on Sunday at the Indian Springs Marina on 113th Avenue North in unincorporated Largo, 50-year-old David Weil was filling the inboard engine on his 2005 Four Winds 25-foot deck boat with fuel when some spilled.

Weil told deputies he cleaned up the spill and cranked the boat to start it. That's when it exploded.

Weil flew from the boat through the air and onto the dock. Incredibly, he was uninjured.

His 21-year-old daughter was standing near the bow when the blast happened. She was thrown into the water.

Weil dove in and rescued her. She suffered minor injuries to her legs and was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

Two others, including Weil's wife and a family friend, were on the dock near a seawall. The blast knocked them off their feet, but neither were hurt.

The explosion caught the fiberglass boat on fire and, though marina staff tried to extinguish the blaze with multiple fire extinguishers, it took Largo Fire Rescue to put out the flames.

The boat partially sunk at the dock and spilled around 100 gallons of fuel into the Intercoastal Waterway. After the fire was out, marina staff were able to remove the boat and bring it to shore to avoid any hazard.

Though the investigation continues, the sheriff’s office says the fire does not appear to be suspicious.

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