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Martin County Sheriff's Office deputies recall rescuing man from burning boat

Deputies Buddy Sprott, Daniel Hill help save man trapped inside
Posted at 8:49 AM, Aug 16, 2022

PORT SALERNO, Fla. — Two Martin County Sheriff's Office deputies had quite the "Fish Story" to tell.

That's the name of the boat that was burning Sunday afternoon when Deputies Buddy Sprott and Daniel Hill came to the rescue.

Sprott and Hill were training nearby when they sprang into action.

Hill said the fire was growing and "getting extremely hot."

Craig Michals video of burning boat in Port Salerno, Aug. 14, 2022
A witness recorded the burning boat as Martin County sheriff's deputies worked to rescue the man.

They climbed aboard and found the hatch at the bow locked.

"I was able to break a window at the side of the boat and talk to the male," Sprott said. "The only thing he was able to state was that 'I need help.'"

Eventually, the deputies were able to reach the man and pull him to safety.

"The only thing going through my head at this point is, 'We need to get this guy out. Just, somehow, make it happen,'" Hill said.

Witness video showed the intense flames that consumed the boat. The fire was so intense that it even damaged the Martin County Sheriff's Office marine unit boat.

"The top of the T-top was melted a little bit, just from the radiant heat being so close to that fire," Sprott said.

T-top of Martin County Sheriff's Office marine unit boat melted from fire
The T-top of the Martin County Sheriff's Office marine unit boat was melted from the intense heat of the fire.

The boat owner was identified as Steven Bohn. The 57-year-old remained in a hospital Monday night but was expected to be OK.

"I mean, it was pretty obvious, if we don't pull him out, there’s only one way how that ends," Hill said.

The fire marshal and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will investigate the cause of the fire.