North Carolina Teen killed in
Boat Refueling Explosion
Click links below for related articles
Found, Questions Remain (Lincoln Times-News)
Man Killed in Boat Explosion to be Laid to Rest (WSOC TV)
Nate Coppick (email@example.com)
June 17, 2008
- A local teenage deck hand died when he was blown off a boat when
it exploded on Lake Norman last week.
year-old Nathan Coppick who worked at the Westport Marina in Lincoln
County was refueling an 80-foot chartered boat when something sparked
and the boat exploded and caught fire. Four other people on the
boat made it off safely.
Investigators said that a spark somewhere
between the dock and the boat is what caused the explosion. The
exact area of the spark is believed to be in the area of the boat’s
vents that blow out air around the engine compartment.
The explosion happened as the boat
was at the dock in the process of being refueled. It is believed
that the spark ignited gas fumes from refueling causing the huge
explosion and fire.
"We just heard an explosion and
the windows shattered. We just ran off the front of the boat,"
said the boat's owner Cliff Champion.
Up to 150 gallons of gasoline spilled
into the water making it unsafe for divers to begin their search
for Coppick. Investigators believed that the teenager's body was
under or near the sunken boat. Cranes and inflatable lifts were
being used to hoist the sunken boat from the Lake floor. Searchers
found the body the next day.
The Environment Protection Agency is
also expected to head to the scene and investigate.