Boater suffers burns after explosion on vessel
DARIEN — A 34-year-old Norwalk boater on the Long Island Sound was left with serious burns on his face after there was an explosion on his vessel.
The Darien Police marine division and Norwalk police and fire responded to a report of a boat on fire near Great Reef on the Darien border June 17 around 7:30 p.m. In the water, the police found the operator who said there had been an explosion and a fire aboard his 19-foot boat. The boater, who had jumped into the Sound after his shirt caught fire, had minor burns on his torso, face and arms.
“The call came in as a fire, but it wasn’t a fire,” Norwalk Fire Chief Gino Gatto said. “It was an accumulation of gases and my understanding is it had something to do with a spark from the battery. There was a flash that injured the man’s face.”
Gatto said that two Norwalk fire boats were put into service — one to respond immediately to the scene and the other to bring Norwalk Hospital paramedics to the man.
The 34-year-old was brought aboard Darien-127 — the police boat — and taken ashore to be transported to the Bridgeport Hospital where he was treated for serious facial injuries. The Norwalk Fire Marine Division took possession of the disabled boat.
“When we got there the Darien Fire Department was already on the scene,” Gatto said. “We towed the man’s boat back to (Veterans Memorial) Park.”
Gatto recommended that boaters take boating safety courses and be mindful of safety precautions.
“I would tell boaters to be sure that their boats are grounded and vented properly,” Gatto said.