Hero teen saves family after horror boat explosion

A Victorian teenager has been praised for his bravery after saving his father and great uncle from drowning following a terrifying boat explosion at Lake Nagambie.

Nathan Barry, 16, was badly burned when the boat's motor suddenly burst into flames on the Goulburn River during a family day out on Saturday.

Nathan, mum Sharon, dad Andrew, younger sister Courtney, and 73-year-old great uncle Ray, jumped for their lives, just moments before the boat exploded.

"When everything happened I just looked at dad, heard the backfire, looked back and then I was on fire and I jumped straight into the water," Nathan said.

Heroic teenager Nathan Barry suffered serious burns in the boat explosion. Photo: Supplied
Heroic teenager Nathan Barry suffered serious burns in the boat explosion. Photo: Supplied

Sharon and Courtney managed to swim to land, but Nathan noticed his father and great uncle struggling to stay afloat.

Despite suffering serious burns, Nathan leapt into action.

He swam ashore, returning with floatation devices for the struggling pair.

"Basically, if he hadn't done what he had done, his uncle definitely wouldn't be here," Sharon said.

Charred remains of the family's speedboat. Photo: Supplied
Charred remains of the family's speedboat. Photo: Supplied

Fighting back tears, Andrew said he owed his life to his young son.

"I stand here because of him, the same with his uncle," he said.

Doctors at the Royal Children's Hospital treated Nathan for first and second degree burns.

Despite his heroic actions, Nathan refuses to accept being called a hero.

"I wouldn't call myself a hero, I just did what needed to be done," he said.


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