Gulfport Fire Chief Michael Beyerstedt said the man on board was fishing about 100 yards from shore when he heard popping noises from inside the boat. When the man opened a hatch, the flames flashed out and burned him on his face and arms.
Beyerstedt said the man then abandoned the boat and swam to shore. Gulfport firefighters and AMR treated him for minor burns, but the man refused a ride to the hospital.
“This was great team work. We are glad to have a positive outcome without serious injuries,” said Beyerstedt.
Harrison County Fire Chief Pat Sullivan said the boat was completely destroyed. The DMR is investigating the cause of the blaze.