Father, son injured in fiery boat explosion

01:19, Feb 24 2013

A Wellington father and son have been injured in an explosion on a boat near Picton this morning. 

The 7-year-old boy and his 42-year-old father were flown to Wellington Hospital with moderate injuries by Nelson Marlborough Resuce Helicopter after the fiery explosion at Waikawa Marina around 9am. 

The pair are both reported to be in a stable condition by Wellington Hospital's emergency department staff this afternoon.

"It is expected they will both be admitted to hospital," a hospital spokesman said.

Picton Volunteer Fire Brigade chief fire officer Wayne Wytenburg said the boat had been fuelled up moments before the explosion.

''There was quite a large fire ball which caused two people to be seriously injured.''


They are still looking into what caused the fire ball, he said. 

He believes it may have been caused by a faulty fuel ventilation system on the boat, which trapped vapours on the boat and sparked the explosion when the engine was started.

The child had a serious cut to his foot, caused by flying debris from the fire ball, and the man had a suspected dislocated or broken ankle and was in a lot of pain, he said.

Although the fire brigade responded to a fire callout, there was no fire when the crew arrived and no-one was burned.

No-one else on the boat or the marina was injured and the marina was safe to use, he said.

The boat was towed back to the launching ramp and is back in the Ports Marlborough compound.

Ports Marlborough, St John ambulance and Picton police also attended the incident.

The Dominion Post