UPDATE – Keuka Lake Explosion – Blower Was On According To Friend!


ABC News 13 WHAM Photo

In yesterdays comment section late at 11:38 PM we got a small update regarding the couple and some more details from a friend of theirs Tom Drozd. Below is that comment again.

Being friends of Bill and Carol (who were the folks on the Coronado) I can tell you a few things. Blower was on since he left the dock. He’s been a boat owner and operator for at least 30+ years. There were multiple circumstances that lead to the explosion. He is new to the ACBS functions and didn’t know anyone at the show. His biggest fear was being alone in the hospital not knowing how his wife was doing.

We should have a safety officer at every ACBS sanctioned show who in case of emergency like this go to the hospital with the person for support.

No worse feeling than being alone in a situation like that.

Also in situations like this both he and his wife lost their cell phones and didn’t know anyone’s phone number by memory. Darn cell phones.

They are both doing well. Bill got 8 staples in his head and his wife has 2nd and 3rd degree burns on legs and feet. No skin graphs yet. Only if they have too. They are real troopers and only blames himself.

At this time they are grateful to be alive and said the show was great.

Please keep up the support for these new members.

I met them at the Sunnyland show. Great couple and just love boating, please keep them in your prayers.

This is a very powerful bit of information and reminds us all that there is deep emotion in all of this. We all want to rationalize this so we can move on, that’s human nature. But SHIP HAPPENS. One thing can quickly trigger another and another so fast, that you can’t stop it. I have had this happen to me, and I am sure to many of you. The part of this comment that is painful for me, is how alone they felt at the hospital, and not being able to call anyone. UGH! Well, I can say this for sure. Bill, Carol, you are not alone, blame is a useless endeavor. And if it helps, which of course it doesn’t, because it’s just words, you’re accident will change the community in a positive way. Thank you for that. Lives will be saved because of the awareness.


13 replies
  1. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Feeling alone is never a good feeling.

    Please know that we are ALL with you.

    Every time I look at the pictures you are using I can not imagine the force of the explosion that ripped the bow deck away to point up at the sky. Anyone in that boat is lucky to be alive!

  2. Johnny V./John Vyverberg
    Johnny V./John Vyverberg says:

    The Wine Country chapter will be asking for emergency contact information on our next year’s registration forms as a result of this accident.

  3. Bilge Rat
    Bilge Rat says:

    Bill & Carol:

    We have never met, but we all have had that alone feeling with no means of contact and finding out what is going on. Even if its just temporarily being stranded on the water. The wood boating community is a strong one, and we want you to know you are in our thoughts and prayers. So sorry this happened.

  4. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    This news makes me believe it was a fuel leak, most likely after the fuel pump. Fuel leaking on to a warm engine could quickly make more fumes than a blower can evacuate. It might not smell much when you lift and sniff, but get bad fast when the engine is running, especially at idle or low power.

    I discovered a leak between the pump and the carb on the PY a number of years ago, likely documented here or on the buzz. Didn’t smell anything on lift and sniffs but saw it in the spring when preparing for launch and we had the dog house off. The incident is a good part of the reason I don’t trust old fuel systems of any material, especially with decades of piecemeal repairs and modifications.

  5. Bilge Rat
    Bilge Rat says:

    I had an MGA back in the day that I was cruising along in one day and smelled gas. Well, more than the usual smells a British car has. Stopped with the engine running and opened the hood (bonnet as the Brits call it) and the stainless steel braided hose between the carbs had a pin hole and was peeing gas onto the exhaust manifold. It was evaporating fast enough not to catch fire, but that was a wake up call.

  6. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    Gosh I feel for those people…what a combination of bad luck.

    That explosion was horrific…never seen the likes of it.

    Best wishes….you have friends you have never met.

    John in Va.

  7. Gary Kosiba
    Gary Kosiba says:

    My wife and I met this couple at the Friday evening reception. They are a lovely couple and had loads of enthusiasm for this hobby. I’m sorry this accident happened , but can only see positive changes for safety at upcoming events.

  8. Bill Williamson
    Bill Williamson says:

    I have seen this happen about a dozen times growing up on Lake Geneva, WI.
    The only time I have seen this happen where someone was killed was on the Rock River,IL.
    The boat exploded in front of the couples house and the wife was killed instantly.
    The boat’s name was “TIME”, as we’re all the husbands future boats. Hi was CEO and major stockholder of a large corporation in Rockford and he and his wife were good friends of my parents.

  9. Alex Phillips
    Alex Phillips says:

    In the UK a friend recently failed boat safety certificate inspection. electric fuel pumps are very cheap (£25) in place of the factory mechanical pumps (unobtainable or £100’s ) the cheap pump was giving 25 PSI the carb was set for 4 PSI.
    he had been using it happily enough for a few months.
    I didnt give that much thought until yesterday. I came across a friend broken down. looking at the engine they have had a cheap electric pump inserted in place of the big old mechanical pump.
    seeing the results of this accident I’m going to go have another look at that installation!

    • Troy in ANE
      Troy in ANE says:

      Band-Aids (my most recent boat purchase) had non USCG approved electric fuel pumps pushing 14 psi to carbs that should only take about 7 psi. They would push raw fuel out onto the intake manifolds on occasion. I also discovered the starboard starter was arching. That was a bad combination!

      Replaced the fuel pumps with USCG approved electric pumps, fixed the starter and all is good not. We were very fortunate!

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      Cheap electric pump is a bad idea. The correct pump is a marine rated pump that puts out 3-5 psi for a carb. The last one I bought was a bit over $100 I think. It should ALWAYS be paired with an oil pressure cutoff switch $25? and if necessary you can add a pressure regulator (1-4 psi $30 ish) to make sure the carb needle doesn’t see too much pressure. I love the easy starting with an electric pump, and I think they are ultimately safer than mechanical, but I wouldn’t go down that path just to be cheap.

  10. thomas d
    thomas d says:

    after reading about this I looked on ebay for a gas fume detector and found one. I had the winning bid of only $10. cheap insurance. this is a wake up call for all of us.

  11. Tyson K.
    Tyson K. says:

    I’m just thankful these folks are going to be ok.

    And Matt, you are correct, this will change how people go about their boating lives, I think. And I will be thoroughly investigating the fuel lines on Muzzy for sure. A five minute exam could save my daughter or anyone else on our boat.

    Like I said, I’m glad they will be ok.

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