Boat sinks after fire

By Riverine Herald

EMERGENCY services were called to the Murray River near Torrumbarry yesterday afternoon after a boat caught fire and then exploded.

There were three people in the boat but only one was injured; needing treatment for some minor burns.

The boat’s owners had just picked up the boat in Bendigo and yesterday was its first time on the water.

Apparently the three people had gone onto the river before realising there was a problem and headed back towards the riverbank.

Avocado grower Andrew Crossman was working on his trees when he heard a “bloody loud bang”.

He said he had heard boats skiing, and maybe practicing for the Southern 80 and then heard the explosion.

“For a minute there I thought two boats might have collided,” Mr Crossman said.

“I jumped in the car and headed down in case anyone needed help,” he said.

Arriving about the same time as the first responders, Mr Crossman said there was an “incredible” lot of smoke and plenty of flames as the boat began to founder.

“Fortunately everyone seemed to be Ok but it must have been a real shock for them,” Mr Crossman added.

“No-one was going to be there quickly enough to save the boat and it later sank.”