Officials: Boat Catches Fire, Passengers Jump Into Ohio River

Posted at 12:26 PM, Jun 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-18 12:26:26-04

KENTON COUNTY, Ky. (WXIX)– A family out test driving a boat on Father’s Day ended up jumping off into the Ohio River to escape flames and smoke.

It happened near the Villa Hills Marina.

The boat’s owner had taken two women and their father out for a test drive, when the cabin cruiser went up in flames.

"It was very scary actually hearing the screams of the girls, there was obviously a panic state," said Ken Purcell, the Boone County water rescue captain. "At first there wasn’t a tremendous amount of smoke, it was all white, but then of course as flames engulfed the boat, yes, a lot of black smoke came off."

Dispatchers tell FOX 19 that everyone on board the small boat jumped into the Ohio River and was rescued.

Officials and a Villa Hills Marina employee told the station that none of the passengers were injured when they jumped off of the burning boat.

The boat took on so much water it sank to the bottom of the river. At last check, crews were still working to recover it.