NAPLES, Maine — A Massachusetts man was injured Saturday afternoon after his personal watercraft exploded.
Karl Marchionda, 31, of Danvers, Mass., had been fueling up a Sea-Doo at Long Lake Marina in Naples with about 10 gallons of gas when the accident happened, according to a press release issued Sunday morning by the Maine Warden Service.
Marchionda was sitting on the watercraft and had tried to start it when it exploded.
“Witnesses say that Marchionda was launched about 20 feet into the air and the cowling of the machine went about 60 feet,” John MacDonald of the Maine Warden Service wrote in the news release. “Marchionda landed on the dock face first.”
He was taken to Bridgton Hospital for treatment of injuries mostly to his face that were not considered life-threatening. He was not burned during the incident, MacDonald said.
James Davenport, the owner of the marina, was able to quickly extinguish a fire that had started in the hull of the Sea-Doo, according to the warden service.
Game Warden Neal Wykes is the primary investigator of the explosion, and said that the accident happened because a lock ring securing the fuel lines to the gas tank became loose and allowed fuel to enter the hull of the machine. The explosion likely happened because of gas fume ignition when Marchionda started the machine, Wykes said.
Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office and Naples Fire and Rescue assisted at the scene. The incident remains under investigation, MacDonald said.