SYRACUSE, Ind. (WANE) — Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating a boat fire that injured two passengers on Saturday.
According to the Department of Natural Resources, a boat fire was called in near the Wawasee Boat Company on Lake Wawasee at 2:55 p.m. An early investigation indicates that a Cabin Cruiser with two inboard engines caught fire when the owner attempted to start up the boat after refueling. The owner said they vented the boat with blowers prior to trying to turn it on.
The Syracuse Fire Department was able to contain the fire before the boat sank. All eight occupants, including the operator, were able to make it safely to shore, but two female passengers were taken to a hospital for second-degree burns.
Conservation officers are reminding boat operators to run bilge blowers before starting inboard engines for the entire time recommended by the boat manufacturing prior to starting the engines. All non-open type vessels built after 1980 that run on gasoline are required to have functional bilge blowers, according to the Coast Guard requirements.
The Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department, Syracuse Police, Fire, and EMS all assisted on scene.