Boat explosion leaves family hospitalized, homeless

A boat explosion Monday night, February 24, left an Elberta family not only homeless, but also hospitalized.

The explosion of the boat docked at Barber Marina was felt by all of the surrounding vessels

“We just finished eating dinner, we were watching tv and we heard a boom, a very loud boom. It shook our boat,” Denise Stott, one of the neighbors said. “And my husband immediately got up and stepped out the door and he disappeared. And then the next thing I know, here comes Brian into our boat.”

Brian is the 14-year-old son of Mike Basco, the boat’s owner. His other son, John, 18, happened to not be on the boat at the time of the fire. The 1968 Concord is now a total loss.

“Tried to put out the flames that we could see, and then it was definitely getting out of control. And Brian was already off the boat, and he was kind of running around on the dock in shock,” Jim Orr, another neighbor, said. “And Mike was coming out of the cabin of the boat. I don’t know where he was prior to that, but it appeared that that was the first time out of the boat after the explosion.

“Sounds like a classic air-fuel mixture. Gasoline being what it is, it’s just one of those things you have to be real careful with around a boat,” Scott Lee, an officer with the Alabama Marine Police, said.

Quick action by Stott, her neighbors and fire fighters helped to save the surrounding boats, except for some minor damage to one boat’s window.

“Josephine Fire Department was fantastic. They all came out here and they responded so quickly it felt like they were here in fifteen minutes or less,” Stott said.

Brian was Life-Flighted from the marina to University of South Alabama Medical Center. His father was taken to South Baldwin Medical Center before he was also life flighted to USA as well.

Now, they have to heal from a fire that took their health and home. If you would like to make a donation to help out the family, contact Jim Orr at 251-232-9124

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