A family of 25 enjoying a day at the lake was interrupted by a loud bang that changed the course of their day – and could have changed the course of their lives if they hadn’t acted so quickly.
A family member said the group was aboard a houseboat in Lake Powell, Utah, when 45 minutes after boarding they heard a loud explosion. ksl tv,
“We heard a big boom,” Maddie Tolman told the publication. “Not knowing what it was, we went to investigate. We found that the motor of the houseboat had exploded and caught fire.”
Tolman said there was only 5 to 10 minutes between when the motor exploded and the entire houseboat burst into flames.
Video captured by onlooker Tyler Hutchinson shows the boat engulfed in flames, sending plumes of black smoke into the sky.
Hutchinson told Storyful that after seeing smoke and hearing multiple explosions, he took a jet ski to the scene near Glen Canyon National Park. Upon arrival he told that the flames were reaching about 20 feet high.
All 25 members of the family – including a mother and her 2-month-old baby, two toddlers and several children in the primary age group – jumped into the lake to safety. KSL TV said some people grabbed lifejackets, but others had to swim away.
The family said Good Samaritans reached them in boats, the family swam to safety, and everyone was unharmed.
“Fortunately, no one was hospitalized. No one was hurt,” Tolman told KSL-TV. “We are grateful to be alive and grateful to those who stopped to pull us out of the water and saved our loved ones.”
The houseboat was completely burned and sank, and officials are investigating the cause.