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UPDATE: Boat explodes, burns fiercely at Island Boatyard

More information has been released by the Shelter Island Police Department on the boat explosion and subsequent fire at the Island Boatyard this afternoon.

According to Det. Sgt. Jack Thilberg, the boat has been identified as an in-board propelled 2002 Cobalt. The four occupants on board escaped the fire by exiting onto the gas dock. One additional vessel in a slip at the marina sustained minor damages, Det. Sgt. Thilberg said.

According to police, the operator of the boat reported that he “had finished fueling the boat and had turned on the electric vent motor. After waiting five minutes, he turned the key to start the engine and an immediate explosion occurred.”

Assisting the Shelter Island Fire department was a Police Department marine unit, a Suffolk County Sherriff’s marine unit, and a Sea Tow vessel. The police boat and the Fire Department worked together to extinguish the blaze, police said.

The Police Department, after an investigation, classified the incident as “accidental.”

Below is the original story, posted this afternoon.

A boat exploded and caught fire at the fuel dock at the Island Boatyard at 2:05 p.m. today, according to Shelter Island Fire Chief Anthony Reiter, who spoke with the Reporter at the scene.

(Credit: Chris Tehan)

There were people aboard the boat, the chief said, but all got off safely; there were no injuries.

One firefighter suffered from smoke inhalation, the chief said, but was treated and no hospitalization was necessary.

Along with the Fire Department, the Shelter Island Police Department and Emergency Medical Services responded to the incident.

The boat, still on fire, drifted out into West Neck Harbor, the chief said, adding, “It’s a goner.”

A water-level view of the boat on fire. (Credit: Luke Morris)

The fire burned so fiercely, it sent up clouds of black smoke that could be seen as far away as Greenport.