A man was injured Tuesday afternoon when a zodiac-type boat apparently exploded while being launched at Honokohau Small Boat Harbor in Kailua-Kona.
Responding to the 6:25 p.m. report, fire rescue personnel found the Sea Hawaii Rafting 25-foot vessel on its trailer with its floorboards open and dry chemical fire extinguisher contents all over the boat’s interior, according to the Hawaii Fire Department. A man was found a short distance from the vessel with people helping to hold a crude and bloody dressing to his head.
The man, who was walking and talking, suffered a laceration to his head and singed hairs on his arms and face, according to the department. He was transported to Kona Community Hospital in good condition.
According to the department, the explosion ignited from gasoline fumes below the deck while the vessel was being launched from the harbor’s mauka ramp. The boat’s owner/operator, crew and bystanders helped extinguish the flames. The vessel reportedly had an automatic extinguishing system.
Fire officials estimated damage at $3,000, according to the department.