August 10, 2014 6:56 pm
Updated: August 10, 2014 10:26 pm

Fishing boat catches fire in Steveston; one person hurt


WATCH: Police warn boaters to be careful after two separate accidents occurred on the water this weekend.

Three people escaped relatively unharmed after a fishing vessel exploded and caught on fire in Steveston last night.

It happened around 6 o’clock, just off Shady Island in the South Arm of the Fraser River.

The three jumped into the water as soon as the boat caught on fire.

Lorne Smith was fishing for sockeye, not far from the boat when he witnessed the explosion.

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“We heard a loud pop and within seconds the people were in the water and the boat was fully engulfed in flames,” says Smith.

Two people escaped unharmed, but one person received minor burns.

Smith and his friend rescued two of the people. Another person was rescued by a different boat.

He says one of the victims told him the fire may have been caused by a battery that exploded on board.

He says the occupants were not wearing life jackets at the time.

“They are lucky there were people around,” says Smith. “This is in the middle of the Fraser River. It is pretty murky right now, and they are lucky that people around grabbed them, especially with no life jackets.”

PHOTO GALLERY: Boat rescue (Courtesy Lorne Smith)

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