LARGO — Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies responded to boat explosion that occurred about 3:55 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Indian Springs Marina, 15151 113th Ave. N. in unincorporated Largo.
Deputies say a 2005 Four Winds 25-foot deck boat with an inboard engine had just been filled up with fuel at the marina, and some fuel had overflowed and spilled.
The owner of the boat, David Weil, 50, told deputies after cleaning up, he attempted to start the boat. Weil said he attempted to crank the boat several times before it suddenly exploded. Weil told deputies that the blast threw him from the boat onto the dock.
Weil's daughter, Hope Weil, 21, was standing near the bow when the explosion occurred, and the force of the blast caused her to fall into the water. Deputies say when her father realized she had been thrown in the water, he dove in and rescued her.
Weil's wife, Gail Weil, 49, was standing nearby on the seawall and a family friend, Ryan McMahon, 25, was on the dock at the rear of the boat. Both were knocked down.
Hope Weil suffered minor injuries to her legs and was transported to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg as a precaution. No other injuries were reported.
Deputies say the explosion caused the fiberglass boat to catch fire. Indian Spring Marina staff attempted to put out the fire using multiple fire extinguishers. However, the blaze was too intense and the fire resulted in the boat partially sinking at the dock. Largo Fire Rescue responded and extinguished the fire.
Deputies say about 100 gallons of fuel spilled into the Intercostal Waterway because of the fire. Afterwards, marina personnel were able to remove the boat from the water and bring it on shore to avoid any further hazards.
Deputies say the cause of the fire does not appear to be suspicious.