A man needed hospital treatment after a gas explosion on a boat at a marina in Carrybridge, County Fermanagh in Northern Ireland yesterday (19 July)

A man has managed to escape from his boat following a gas explosion on board which blew off the roof and left the vessel submerged in Lough Erne.

He was helped to shore by a member of the public before being taken to hospital.

The incident happened yesterday morning (19 July) at around 11am at a marina located in the hamlet of Carrybridge, close to Lisbellaw in County Fermanagh.

Carrybridge RNLI, the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, Ambulance Service and the Police Service of Northern Ireland all attended the incident, while the Irish Coast Guard Rescue 118 helicopter from Sligo was also tasked.

“The gas explosion inside a privately owned pleasure craft boat blew the roof off the boat and into the water. One man who was on the boat at the time managed to escape but was taken to hospital for his injuries,” said a fire service spokesman.

An orange inshore lifeboat outside a white lifeboat station

Carrybridge Lifeboat Station. Credit: RNLI/Nuala McAloon

A further search of the water was carried out for any other casualties by Carrybridge RNLI before it was confirmed that no-one else was on the boat at the time of the gas explosion.

The fire service is now urging all boat owners to check their appliances on board.

“We would like to use this opportunity to remind boat owners of the need to ensure that any gas appliances on boats are installed and maintained by a qualified engineer and that carbon monoxide alarms are fitted on boats,” said the spokesman.

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Carrybridge RNLI helm, Chris Cathcart, also asked boat owners to carry out regular checks on their vessels.

“We would like to wish the man who had been on the boat well following what must have been a frightening experience for him,” he said.

“We would also like to commend the member of the public on the shore who came to his assistance. Today’s (19 July) call out was a good example of multiple agencies responding well together,” continued Cathcart.

“We would remind all visitors to the lough during the boating season to ensure they do regular checks on their vessels so everything is in working order,” stressed the helm, who added that everyone taking to the water should always wear a lifejacket and have a means for calling for help.

“Always check the weather and tide times and make sure someone ashore knows where you are going and who to call if you don’t return on time. Should you get into difficulty, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard,” added Cathcart.