Flames alighted a boat in Malletts Bay on Saturday, June 9.
The boat’s owner, Khristopher Poulin, 33, of Colchester, and two men had just refueled the vessel and were 200 yards from the docks when the incident occurred, according to Malletts Bay Fire Department Chief Steve Bourgeois.
The boat drifted into the mooring field at Hazelett’s Beach where it set another boat aflame, Bourgeois said. No one was onboard the second boat, which belonged to Mari Girelli, 59, of Colchester.
According to Bourgeois, the fire was started by something in the engine compartment of Poulin’s boat.
“They heard a pop and shortly after saw flames,” he said. “They jumped in [the water], and the boat drifted through the mooring field and Hazelett’s beach where it set the other boat on fire.”
The three men were pulled from the water onto a dinghy by a man from the Bay Harbor Marina, Bourgeois said. They were then transported, by private car, to the University of Vermont Medical Center, according to a press release from Cpl. Michael Akerlind of the Colchester Police Department.
One man suffered a minor burn, and the others’ injuries included hypothermia and smoke inhalation, according to Bourgeois.
“We’re just fortunate it wasn’t worse,” Bourgeois said. “They were all released that same afternoon.”
The Malletts Bay Fire Department responded to a call at 11:03 a.m. and were on scene by 11:08 a.m. They fought the flames until 2:18 p.m. and stayed until around 6 p.m., Bourgeois said. According to the press release, also on scene were the Colchester Police Department Marine Unit, Colchester Technical Rescue Team, Essex Rescue Squad, Colchester Center Volunteer Fire Company and the U.S. Coast Guard.
Bourgeois returned the following day, June 10, and was present when the boats were removed from the harbor, around 4:30 p.m.
“All the agencies involved worked well together,” he said. “We all worked together, and no one was injured.”