Boat explodes on Lummi Reservation

A fishing boat exploded on Lummi Reservation Friday morning, Dec. 26, and a man inside was able to escape with no major injuries.

Firefighters said a commercial fishing boat around 20 feet long exploded near 2500 Lummi View Drive when a 41-year-old man tried starting the engine around 8 a.m. A small cabin in the boat blew off and landed in a trailer beside it, said Assistant Fire Chief Bill Hewett.

The boat was on a trailer when it exploded, and the man suffered only a minor ankle injury getting off it, Hewett said.

The boat had been filled up with around 70 gallons of gas prior to the explosion, Hewett said. Gas was leaking when firefighters pulled the boat out of the water shortly after the explosion, and crews worked to contain fuel that was leaking onto the ground.

The cause of the explosion is still under investigation, Hewett said. Firefighters suspect vapors that had built up in the hull during fueling were sparked while starting the engine.