ANDERSONVILLE—A wakeboard boat caught fire and burned late Monday morning on Norris Lake shortly after being launched at Anderson County Park, state officials said.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency responded to the reported boat fire at about 11 a.m. Monday. The 2012 22-foot Supra wakeboard boat was being driven by an unidentified woman, and it was completely engulfed by a fire that started near the vessel’s engine when TWRA Wildlife Officer Jason Lankford responded.
The woman’s husband informed Lankford that he had just launched the vessel when his wife took the boat down the lake for a short ride while he was parking the vehicle. The man also noted that the engine’s power ventilation system, which is designed to help prevent boat fires, was being used as the vessel was launched.
As the boat made its way towards Sequoyah Marina and turned to come back, the man, who was watching from the shore, noticed smoke coming from the boat’s stern, where the engine is located. When the engine stalled, the woman opened the engine hatch and the vessel burst into flames.
“Wisely, she retrieved a personal flotation device and jumped into the water,” the TWRA said in a press release. “A nearby boat came and rescued the accident victim.”
The burning boat drifted to an island at the confluence of the Clinch and Powell rivers, where it continued to burn until being extinguished by members of the Andersonville Fire Department.