IREDELL COUNTY, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - A 59-year-old man was seriously injured in a jet ski explosion on Lake Norman Tuesday, according to Iredell County communications.
The explosion occurred near 177 Great Point Drive. Reports indicate that the victim was brought to a dock and was unconscious at the time. Officials said he sustained traumatic injuries in the accident.
A neighbor told FOX 46 she heard a very loud explosion and saw emergency workers take the person out on a backboard. She said the patient was in and out of consciousness from what she could see.
Investigators on scene said it's too early to tell why or how there was an explosion.
A lieutenant with NC Wildlife said the man was taken to Lake Norman Regional Hospital. Officers went with him to try to figure out exactly what happened.
The victim's wife tells FOX 46 he has a fracture in his face, lacerations, staples down his arm, a concussion and a dislocation in his lower body.
The man who was injured was having trouble starting his jet ski, when it suddenly exploded.
“I imagine that he probably had a gas leak from the engine itself,” said Captain Henry Buijnorouski, an employee of Charlotte Ski Boats. He says he has worked with watercrafts his whole life.
“You always want to look in the compartment, engine compartment, to make sure that you don’t have any fluids,” he said as he demonstrated.
Buijnorouski suspects the jet ski was leaking gas.
“Gasoline evaporates very fast and is very explosive when it hits a spark from ignitions,” he said.
The man who fell victim to this explosion is still in the hospital, but his body was motionless, face down in the water immediately after it happened.
With temperatures in the mid 90’s, Buijnorouski says your chances of a boat or jet ski explosion increase.
“The higher the temperature, the more likely it is the gasoline will start evaporating and putting off fumes,” he said.
Buijnorouski recommends before you start the boat, check the engine compartment for fluids, and always hit the blower to get rid of any lingering flammable fumes.
The U.S. Coast Guard is holding a safety seminar at Charlotte Ski Boats Tuesday, June 26th. It’s free and open to the public.