One man was killed and another seriously injured after a boat exploded and caught fire in the Intracoastal Waterway south of Peanut Island near the Sailfish Club.
Witnesses told firefighters the fire began when the boaters tried to start the engine of the 35-foot cabin cruiser. They say it seemed accidental.
The blast knocked one of the men into the water. The other jumped. Both latched on to a vessel that came to help them.
Police identified the men as Angel Parra Perez, 45 and Rolando Cruz, 46.
Palm Beach police say the men were suffering with 'severe and life threatening burns' when officers pulled them from the water.
They were transported to waiting rescue units and taken to St. Mary's Medical Center.
Police say Perez later died from complications sustained from his injuries. Cruz is being treated for burns to his arms and face and listed in stable condition.
"He jumped in the water right away," says Dr. Robert Borrego, a trauma surgeon at St. Mary's. "I think because of that, he minimized the amount of burns and injury."
Rescue boats performed a perimeter around the burning vessel.
The cabin cruiser burned to the water line.
A plume of black smoke could be seen for miles.
Heat from the fire could be felt one to two hundred yards away.
Chopper 5 pilot Captain Julie reported seeing minor explosions on the boat as it burned.
Police have not yet determined a cause but suspect it was accidental.
Evan Axelbank contributed to this report.
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