Four people safe after fire breaks out on boat

Half of boat rests on bottom of Lake Mendota
Four people safe after fire breaks out on boat
Boat fire on Lake Mendota - From June Shakhashiri

Three men and a woman were forced to jump from their boat on Lake Mendota Friday morning after a fire broke out near Lake Mendota Park.

According to the Madison Fire Department, firefighters were sent to the fire about 9:45 a.m. after the boat caught fire about 300 yards off shore from Captain Bill’s restaurant in Middleton.

“The engine stalled on us, and we had black smoke coming out the back,” the boat’s owner, Jordan Gensler, told WISC-TV. “After the fire extinguisher didn’t help, we all abandoned ship and called for help.”

A nearby fisherman made his way to the boat and pulled the four people in.

“Thank God for him,” Gensler said. “He came up and picked us up out of the water as we watched it burn.”

By the time firefighters arrived, the boat was fully engulfed in flames. Because of the amount of fuel on board, the Fire department says they were just pushing the fuel around, so they just let it burn out.

No one was injured. The $100,000 boat, a 23-foot 2010 Super Air Nautique, is considered a total loss, as its tail now rests on the bottom of Lake Mendota.

Investigators are still trying to figure out what caused the fire, but they say they have no reason to believe the boaters did anything wrong.

All were experienced boaters, and fire crews said they did the right thing by jumping off the boat.

Gensler told WISC-TV a representative from the boat company was en route to Madison from Florida to investigate, as well.