Woman spreads message after horrific incident

A WOMAN involved in a terrifying boating accident at Lake Eppalock says safety on the water falls on users. 

It just shows how quickly things can happen. - Leah Ryan

Leah Ryan received second degree burns to 15 per cent of her body and spent three days in hospital last November after a flash fire on a boat.

It is one of two boat fires and four boat explosions on Lake Eppalock since January 2009. 

Mrs Ryan said the boat's engine became flooded when her friends were attempting to restart the motor, which caused an explosion. 

She said her pregnant friend, who was sitting beside her at the time, also suffered burns to her upper arm and lips. 

"I was directly in the path of the fire ball," she said. 

“The experience was very traumatic. I went into shock and was just screaming.

"I was very lucky the incident wasn't more serious but it just shows how quickly things can happen."

She said people could take measures to limit risks on the water. 

"Just a short time after our accident, there was another similar incident at the lake and then the tragedy involving the young girl," she said. 

"Of course some things just happen but you can stay as safe as possible." 

She urged people to check the engine bay before each trip to look for anything unusual and keep an air blower to prevent vapour build up. 

“I know vibrations can cause fuel leaks so it is also important to check before restarting your boat for the return trip to shore," she said. 

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