The Darwin Awards

2004 At-Risk Survivor

Next Prev Random At-Risk Survivors have misadventures that stop short of the ultimate sacrifice. Nevertheless we salute the spirit of their colossal blunders with an Honorable Mention. Better luck next time!

Exploding Boat
2004 At-Risk Survivor
Confirmed True by Darwin

(11 April 2004, Pompano Beach, Florida) Harry, 44, and Richard, 47, narrowly avoided earning a double Darwin when they accidentally blew up their fishing boat. They had stopped at a gas station to fill up the boat's gas tank. Unfortunately, they put the nozzle into one of the fishing-rod holders instead of into the gas tank, sending fuel throughout the boat. With gasoline sloshing around in the bilge and forming a vapor cloud, the two men drove merrily on, looking forward to a great day of fishing.

They launched the boat, and the boat floated quietly in the calm water--until they pushed the starter on the engine. The spark from the engine instantly ignited the vapor cloud surrounding the men. The force of the blast knocked them both to the deck. The 26-foot boat was engulfed in flames and destroyed, along with part of the nearby dock. Firefighters spent 10 minutes trying to control the blaze.

Harry was treated and released from the emergency room. Richard was transferred to the burn unit, and released the next day. "It certainly was a horrible lesson to learn about boating," said the Pompano Beach Fire-Rescue spokesperson.

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Submitted by: Jerry Taylor
Reference:, Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, St. Petersburg Times

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