Ipswich district duty officer Gareth James with ranger Gavin Zimmer collecting the boat that caught fire at Lake Moogerah yesterday.
Ipswich district duty officer Gareth James with ranger Gavin Zimmer collecting the boat that caught fire at Lake Moogerah yesterday. Sarah Harvey

Two burned in boating explosion

FOUR people were forced to jump overboard after their ski boat exploded while cruising at a crowded Moogerah Dam yesterday.

The 14-foot vessel had been driving near an area known as The Gorge, about 11.15am, when the driver smelt fumes and then heard the V8 engine misfire.

Police and witnesses said there was then an explosion – powerful enough to remove the cowling from the engine – which caused burns to the face and body of two women and a male passenger.

The male driver, who was not burned, remained on board after the explosion to try to extinguish the flames.

Several other boats and jet-skis then arrived to assist.

Jet-ski driver Troy Spencer said he tried to help by using his craft to propel water onto the flames.

“The flames were about a metre-and-a-half high out of the hull – I was worried the whole thing would explode,” Mr Spencer said.

“Someone else came along with another extinguisher and put it out.”

Boonah-based police officer Senior Constable Peter Edbrooke was one of those to arrive quickly to put the flames out.

“The fire was basically extinguished by the time we got there – we just put it out when it reignited,” Senior Constable Edbrooke said.

One of the boats on scene towed the burned vessel over to the RAAF ski zone.

Police later took it back to the boat ramp.

Witnesses said two crews of firefighters and three ambulances arrived at the dam – which is about 15 minutes drive west of Boonah – within a few minutes.

The injured were ferried back to shore, where other boaties and water-skiers provided cold water to treat the burns.

Regular Moogerah Dam visitor Darren Hall said he preferred to stay out of the water during the busier times because of overcrowding. “Not only is it rough but you've also got to watch yourself constantly,” he said.

Two women and a man, all aged in their 40s or 50s, were taken to Ipswich Hospital.

Their injuries were described as minor.

They were all in a stable condition last night.



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