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Father rescues daughter after boat explodes in Largo

Authorities are investigating the incident at Indian Springs Marina.
Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. [Tampa Bay Times]
Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. [Tampa Bay Times]
Published Dec. 2

LARGO — A family was out for a day on the water Sunday when their boat exploded and knocked them off their feet, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

David Weil, 50, had just fueled up his 2005 Four Winns 25-foot deck boat at about 3:55 p.m. at Indian Springs Marina, 15151 113th Ave. N, in unincorporated Largo. Some fuel overflowed, so Weil cleaned up the spill, then attempted to start the boat, he told deputies. He had tried to crank it several times when the boat exploded.

The blast threw him onto the dock. His daughter, 21-year-old Hope Weil, was standing near the bow and fell into the water. David Weil quickly jumped in and rescued her. She suffered minor injuries to her legs, deputies said, and was taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg.

David Weil’s wife, Gail Weil, 49, and a family friend, Ryan McMahon, 25, were also near the boat and knocked down by the force of the explosion, deputies said. Neither was injured.

The boat, made of fiberglass, caught fire. Workers at the marina tried to fight the blaze with fire extinguishers, but it was too intense and the boat partially sank at the dock before Largo Fire Rescue arrived and put the fire out. Afterwards, marina staff removed the boat from the water.

About 100 gallons of fuel spilled into the Intracoastal Waterway, deputies said.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the explosion and said it does not appear to be suspicious.

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