Summertime is perfect for those “Lake Life” type of people, that is until taking the boat out turns into a scary situation of “Lake Life and Death.”
Two boaters had taken out their 21-foot Baja sporting boat onto the West Grand Traverse Bay in Lake Michigan, and at some point during the trip, something went terribly wrong. An engine fire roared up and began to consume the back half of the vessel, and the two people had no idea how to stop it, or what to do as the flames began to take over.
Luckily, two other individuals that were out boating that day, and are now being viewed as heroes for saving those aboard the boat that had caught fire in the middle of the bay. Nathan Greenwood and his wife came up on the smoke-covered Baja and began to yell at the two people who were still standing in the boat amidst the smoke:
“It’s too late, get off the boat. Get off the boat! It’s gonna blow. You guys are going to want to jump out right now. Jump out right now!”
It’s unknown what the two boaters were planning to do with the boat that was on fire, but it does seem like they needed that final “verbal encouragement” from the Greenwoods to eventually abandon ship.
And in the craziest part of the video (and that’s saying something), literally seconds after the pair jumped off the burning vessel, something near the engine pops and explodes into the rest of the boat, spreading the fire and heavy smoke to the area where the boaters had been standing just moments before.
The timing of Nathan Greenwood and his wife was impeccable, and very easily could have saved the two boater’s lives. Greenwood sat down with ABC 11 to talk about the harrowing boat rescue, saying:
“I knew very quickly that if they did not get off the boat, they were either going to pass out from the inhalation of the smoke, the heat, or it would end up eventually exploding. It’s really fortunate, because within three seconds of them jumping off of the boat, it exploded.”
And since the two people aboard the burning boat made it out okay, I can now say what I’ve been waiting to say this entire article: usually if you are going to have flames on a boat, you want them painted on the side in bright orange and yellow paint, not violently rising from the engine.
After the explosion, the boat continued to burn its way down to the very infrastructure of Baja, and eventually sunk to the bottom of the 70-foot deep bay in Lake Michigan. It is reported that the Lake Marine Services removed the boat from its watery grave this past Sunday, and the cause of the fire is not known at the time.
Greenwood and his wife deserve praise for potentially saving the two people’s lives, and Nathan went on to tell UpNorthLive how the timing of everything was incredibly fortunate:
“Whimsically, I decided to go out on a boat ride. We have our office right on the water there. It was a beautiful day, don’t normally do that. So it’s just very coincidental.
By the time I was there, it was fully engulfed with smoke. Flames hadn’t fully engulfed the boat yet but there was definitely an immense amount of smoke.
There’s no way that we’re going to be able to put this fire out, we need to get them on board before it blows up, it’s literally just making a decision to save your life or to stay on board to die.”
Though the two boaters lost their 21-foot Baja, they at least escaped with their lives thanks to the Greenwoods. Take a look at the heart-pounding video below: