Yacht explodes, injures Prospect woman

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A yacht returning to a Prospect marina exploded midday Thursday with four people on board.

Heavy black smoke billowed above Ky. 1793 and U.S. 42 as flames quickly swept through a boat docked in the 2000 block of Justin Cove.

Crews from North Oldham, Harrods Creek and Westport fire departments battled the blaze for more than an hour. As the flames were extinguished, the boat came to rest at the bottom of the marina.

The vessel, a 41-foot Carver yacht, is partially submerged.

Officials at the scene said four people on board at the time of the blast include Randy Powell, owner of R&R Marine; an unidentified man; and a husband and wife who had recently purchased the boat.

According to R&R’s website, Powell has been repairing boats for 20 years and has spent much of his life on the water.

The group had just fueled the boat for winter after a training ride. The boat can hold about 500 gallons of fuel.

According to fire department officials, the engine stalled as the vessel left the marina. When the driver attempted to restart it, the vessel exploded into flames.

The impact of the blast tossed the woman from the boat. She suffered a leg and foot injury and is being treated at an area hospital.

Three men on board escaped the explosion without injury.

Officials believe fuel vapor led to the explosion. Two other boats in the marina sustained minor damage during the explosion.

Firefighters attacked the blaze using fire boats and personnel working from the dock.

The U.S. Coast Guard also responded to the blaze. Officials from the EPA have been called to assess the amount of fuel that has leaked into the water.

One firefighter was treated on the scene by EMS for an allergic reaction, possibly to the fiberglass of the boat.