Couple onboard say they are lucky to be alive

A couple say they are lucky to be alive after their boat exploded and sank off Beccels Quay yesterday.

Tony Tibbit put 20 litres of petrol into the fuel tank when it exploded. “I looked round and where the seat and cover over the engine was, there was a solid mass of flames.”

His wife Alison dove into the water and swam to the bank, leaving her husband onboard Cleo until he could be rescued, the BBC reports.

“As soon as I realised I was getting burnt I was over the side as quickly as possible,” she said. “It was an old boat but the proper
inspections had been done. We still have no idea as to how it happened.”

The couple were planning to travel down the river in their 24ft vessel and have a picnic. Instead, the pensioners ended up in hospital, where they were treated for minor burns.

Eye witnesses told the Norwich Evening News that the flames scaled 10m in height and the smoke could be seen from four miles away.

Fire crews from Beccles and Lowestoft managed to control the blaze but she sank 45 minutes after the explosion.

Image of Beccles Quay by Chris Holifield.

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