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Family injured in explosion at Falls Lake

Posted May 27, 2010
Updated May 28, 2010

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— Durham County sheriff's authorities said a family of six was injured early Thursday evening in an explosion at a Falls Lake marina.

Authorities said the family, which included two children, was filling up a boat with gas shortly before 6 p.m. and left the engine running.

Family injured in explosion at Falls Lake Family injured in explosion at Falls Lake

That created a spark, causing the explosion at Rollingview Marina at 3940 Falls Lake Road.

Mike Driscoll said he and some friends were walking by and heard the explosion. They immediately started helping the family get off the boat. He said at least two family members had burns on their legs.

“One lady had burns all down the front of her leg, probably a half dozen on each leg,” he said.

The family was taken to Duke University Hospital with injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening, authorities said.

Marcus Gooch, whose family owns the marina, said the force of the explosion shook a store about 100 yards away.


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  • cary1969 May 28, 2010

    you run your blowers...not bilge pump

  • RocknRollDoctor May 28, 2010

    Boater safety courses should be mandatory in this state. There is absolutely no reason for this to happen. Simple safety precautions, that most boaters know, would have prevented this.

  • runinlat May 28, 2010

    I see a lot of people filling their cars while it is running.

  • johnnyboy May 28, 2010

    Knowing that this wasn't a deadly accident, but certainly serious, I'm tempted not to pen this opinion, but they will most likely live to see other days on the lake. But, can you imagine the first words from the wife to the husband... "I TOLD YOU TO TURN THE MOTOR OFF!!!" Take my advice, listen to the voice of reason. She knows what she is talking about.

  • Adelinthe May 28, 2010

    Can't believe they were filling the tank with the motor running, and without the bilge pump running.

    When you fill the tanks of a cabin cruiser, the gas fumes CAN seep into the bilge (the bottom of the boat beneath the deck). The bilge pumps pump that out, along with any water that may have seeped into it.

    One of the first things you learn after buying a boat is to keep the bilge pump running when you're filling up with gas, and to let it run for 5-10 minutes BEFORE you start the engines.

    But because there are no usage and driving tests for boats, one doesn't learn unless a seasoned boater teaches them that, and then things like this happen.

    Praying for the family.

    God bless.


  • whocares May 28, 2010

    Before my husband passed away, we used to go to Falls Lake fishing. Some of the people out there were just plain rude and some had no common sense. I was taught that you do not fill up your car while the motor is running nor do you fill up a boat with the motor running, much less smoking. I hope that the family is going to be OK.

  • boatmonkey82 May 28, 2010

    i run a mobile marine service and ill be the first to say that i cant count the number of boats with built in tanks that will back splash while fueling and most with little to no warning , mine does it real bad . and you guys running i/o's and inboards need to stop being so cheap and replace that ragged blower that sounds like it going to come apart any second , i have seen them catch fire . but best of all , turn the boat off . if your worried it wont restart then bring it to me lol . the only thing wrong with falls lake is the lack of boating knowledge and the water is 100% filthy . good to see everyone is ok

  • charlesboyer May 28, 2010

    "I have boated on lakes all across the United States and the safety level on Falls is above average. You need to get out more Kink, or if you are that afraid of the stupidity stay off the lake."

    Horsepuckey. Falls Lake is very narrow in a lot of places and too many people there drive recklessly and without regard to swimmers in the water. Who says that? The Wildlife officers that patrol the place.

    As for staying off the lake, that's exactly what I do. I can drive and extra 30 minutes to Kerr Lake which is much larger and thus boaters are more spread out. You can go up the river portion of the lake (the VA part) and be on slalom-ski quality flat water in the middle of the day.

  • klink May 28, 2010

    "if you are that afraid of the stupidity stay off the lake."


  • gingerlynn May 28, 2010

    People have no common sense. I went to put gas in my car the other day and not only was an idiot filling up with his car running, he was smoking. I yelled at him to put it out and he gave me a "kind" finger gesture. I left and went to another station FAR away. all you need is one spark.