Westminster man burned in boat explosion

A quick thinking charter boat captain pulled a burning boat away from a pier in southern Maryland.

Police said the boat caught fire while docked at the Solomon’s Island Yacht Club late Thursday afternoon. A 21-foot powerboat burst into flames, sending two men in the water. The fireball was right next to the fuel dock. 

While most would run for cover, Captain Lee Tippit and his first mate Jim Lee Wiley jumped into action to help. Captain Tippet maneuvered his charter boat, threw an anchor line onto the boat that was on fire and dragged it away from the fuel pumps and others on the dock. 

Terry Quinn, the owner of Solomon Gallery captured video of the dramatic scene.

Natural Resources police said 38-year-old Michael Franz of Westminster was taken to a hospital with second degree burns on his legs.  His father refused treatment.

The state fire marshal is investigating.

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