View Comments
Skipper has narrow escape in boat explosion
Evan MacRae and his exploded boat. Supplied picture

The skipper of a 32-ft yacht narrowly escaped injury in an explosion on his vessel at Hillarys Boat Harbour yesterday.

Evan MacRae had just filling up his boat's tank with petrol just after 3:30pm when his second engine exploded, scorching the back of his boat and knocking his mate on the jetty backwards.

"I just got the fright of my life, it was an enormous bang," said Mr MacRae, who had been on the top level of the vessel.

Staff at nearby Spinnakers restaurant rushed to extinguish the blaze.

Mel McGrath, who owns the petrol bowsers and the restaurant, said his wife rushed outside to help fight the flames as they caught on the canvas cover at the back of the boat.

His quick-thinking staff also shut off the supply to the petrol bowsers, preventing what could have been a much more serious incident.

Four fire trucks rushed to the scene and managed to get the fire under control in about 15 minutes.

No one was harmed in the blaze but one woman required oxygen after breathing in potentially toxic black smoke after fibreglass caught fire, which can dangerous emit particles.

The boat, worth about $55,000, was partially destroyed in the blast.

The cause of the explosion was still being investigated yesterday.