OCT. 30 — It must have looked like a scene straight out of “Mission Impossible.” Crews from Antioch (Calif.) Marina were sent out last Monday when a 28-foot Carver caught fire in the San Joaquin River about 100 feet from shore. But one man beat them to the punch — or tried to.
Area residents said an unidentified man, who apparently knew the owner of the Carver, saw the smoke, stripped, jumped into the water and swam to the burning vessel, according to a report in the Contra Costa Times. He got on board just as the entire boat went up in flames, and he was forced to jump back into the river, reportedly swimming away as the propane tanks exploded. Halfway to shore, however, the man began struggling, and a bystander jumped in and brought him in, according to the report.
The boat burned to the waterline and was later towed away, according to Antioch police. No one was injured in the fire or rescue.
The owner of the Carver, who had bought the boat just a few weeks earlier, reportedly said he might have left a candle burning when he docked to go get lunch.
— Elizabeth Ellis