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Explosion burns lifeguard during training

Fire
Lifeguard boat fire training exercise goes bad
video icon 3.3MB/23 sec./320x240
1.0MB/23 sec./160x120
QuickTime movie
January 16, 1998
Web posted at: 1:10 p.m. EST (1810 GMT)

SAN DIEGO (CNN) -- A veteran San Diego lifeguard was knocked off his feet Thursday by an explosion he set off intentionally for a routine training exercise. He suffered second-degree burns on one hand.

Charles Davey, who has 17 years of experience, was standing on the deck of an old boat, clothed head-to-toe in protective clothing, when he ignited the on-board fire for a drill to practice fighting fires on boats.

Normally, one of his fellow lifeguards said, the fire remains contained. This time, some vapors apparently collected in a pocket and exploded, sending parts of the boat into the water.

Davey quickly jumped into the water and swam to the safety of a rescue boat. While the fire burned itself out, lifeguards rushed him to the hospital. He said he never panicked, automatically jumping into the water to save himself.

San Diego lifeguards go through the training on boats up to four times a year. Despite the accident, the training drills are to continue.



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