Four rescued from boat ablaze on Dead River Basin

MARQUETTE — Four people were evacuated from a boat that caught fire on the Dead River Basin in Negaunee Township Thursday evening.

According to a Marquette County Sheriff’s Office press release, the sheriff’s marine division along with the Negaunee Township Fire Department were dispatched at about 8:09 p.m. Eastern time to the boat fire, but all the occupants had already been transferred to a second watercraft and taken to shore.

When rescue units arrived, the watercraft was fully engulfed, according to the release. Sheriff’s deputies transported fire department personnel to the scene who then extinguished the fire.

The 19-foot Seadoo watercraft had blown to the shore of an unnamed island west of the boat launch.

The owner, 28-year-old Ryan Hammack of Marquette, said he and three passengers had just launched the boat and were about a half-mile from the boat ramp, according to the release.

Hammack reportedly noticed smoke coming from the instrument panel, then checked on the engine compartment, where he discovered more smoke coming from the watercraft.

A fire extinguisher was used on the engine compartment with no success, the press release states. A passerby in another boat was flagged down and a second fire extinguisher was also used with no results.

All parties in Hammack’s boat were evacuated by the passerby and taken to shore.

No one was injured at the scene.

Arrangements were being made by the owner to remove the remainder of the boat.


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