Video: Deputies pull unconscious man from boat seconds before it explodes

"The heat was so intense that part of the MCSO Marine vessel melted," the sheriff's office wrote on Facebook

By Mark Price
The Charlotte Observer

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — A large fishing boat burst into flames as two Florida deputies worked to save an incapacitated passenger and it was caught on video by a witness.

The deputies escaped injury, but the boater was taken to a hospital, the Martin County Sheriff’s Office reports.

Video of the rescue was posted on social media by Benjamin Dyall, who reported it happened Sunday, Aug. 14, on the Manatee Pocket waterway near Stuart, Florida. Stuart is about 105 miles north of Miami.

The explosion happened as Marine Deputy Buddy Sprott and Deputy Dan Hill were working to pull an unconscious man out of the boat.

Video shows the deputies continued undaunted, even as fire engulfed the back half of the boat and a fishing tower collapsed and fell into the flames.

“They manage to get the victim off of the boat before the vessel is consumed in flames,” the Martin County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook. “The heat was so intense that part of the MCSO Marine vessel melted.”

The back of the boat was already burning when the deputies climbed aboard and began their rescue efforts, the video shows.

Investigators have not released the cause of the fire or how the unidentified boater was injured.

The Facebook post has gotten hundreds of reactions, including comments from people who called the video “very scary to watch.”

“This could have had a total different and horrible ending,” Jan Brown wrote.

“Those are the true heroes,” Gene Genise posted.

“Amazing to watch them jump into action, fearless,” Matt Michals said.

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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