Shasta County, CA – On 7-4-2019, 1845 hours, the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office Boating Safety Unit and Cal-Fire were dispatched to Silverthorn Resort for a boat fire. Deputy Lindquist responded from the area of No Name Island. The fire on the custom inboard boat was already out when Deputy Lindquist arrived on scene.
Deputy Lindquist contacted the owner, Bryce Balin (26 years, Klamath Falls, OR.) and the occupants, Kristen Balin (25 years, Klamath Falls, OR.) and Jared Aguiar (26 years, Klamath Falls, OR.). Bryce advised they went to Silverthorn Marina to fill up on gas. Bryce stated he turned on the boats blower and bilge pump during the fueling process. Bryce, Kristen and Aguiar got back in the boat and started to leave the gas dock. The boat reversed about halfway out of the slip when the gas vapors ignited and caused the boat to explode. Bryce, Kristen and Aguiar were all ejected out of the boat and into the water by the explosion. The explosion also blew the entire interior of the boat out leaving only the boat’s hull and motor. Silverthorn dock personnel quickly put out the boat fire with fire extinguishers. The boat was a total loss. Bryce, Kristen and Aguiar were extremely fortunate to only have minor cuts and straps from the explosion. They were treated for their injuries at the scene by Silverthorn dock personnel.
The ignition source that caused the gas vapor to ignite is unknown at this time. The Boating Safety Unit wants to remind people to turn on their vessel blower for at least 5 minutes after fueling or prior to starting their enclosed engine vessels. If a strong odor of fuel is present, check the engine compartment and bilge for any possible fuel leaks prior to starting your vessel. The Boating Safety Unit would also like to encourage boating public to wear their life jackets while boating.