Jet ski explodes at Lake Eppalock

UPDATE 2.20PM: Michael Hemopo remembers being launched about six metres into the air when his jet ski exploded underneath him at Lake Eppalock on Saturday. 

The 23-year-old Maiden Gully resident is recovering in hospital, nursing two broken legs and two dislocated ankles. 

Yesterday he sent out a heartfelt thanks to the strangers who rushed to his rescue and dragged him from the water after the explosion.

"There were some guys there, I think they were practicing for the Southern 80," Mr Hemopo said.

"They had a race boat and they were a ski team, so they were out there practicing and they were just pulling the boats when it actually happened.

"They were about 100 or 250 metres away and one of the blokes said he had his back turned away but he heard and felt the explosion.

"He felt the shock waves and by the time he turned around I was still going up in the air."


Mangled plastic was all that remained of a jet ski after an explosion at Lake Eppalock at the weekend.

A 23-year-old Bendigo man was taken to hospital on Saturday with a broken ankle and minor burns after the jet ski blew up while he was trying to start the vessel.

The man was pulled from water by three men who heard the explosion and ran towards the water, where they found the injured man calling for help.

Police said the jet ski had just been serviced and they would make further inquiries.

The Water Police from Melbourne are leading the investigation.

Bendigo police’s Senior Constable Todd Deary, who was at the scene on Saturday, said the jet ski was destroyed in the explosion.

“It’s mainly melted,” he said.

“It’s just a blob of fibreglass.”

Senior Constable Deary said the man and his girlfriend arrived at Lake Eppalock about 11am with their jet ski.

“The young fella has put it into the water and he’s been attempting to start the jet ski for about 15 minutes.

“His girlfriend’s gone back to sit in the car because it’s too cold and then she’s heard an explosion and the jet ski has just burst into flames.

“It’s thrown him off the jet ski and into the water.

The wreckage of the jet ski is removed from Lake Eppalock on Saturday. Picture: Julie Hough

The wreckage of the jet ski is removed from Lake Eppalock on Saturday. Picture: Julie Hough

“He has a severely damaged right ankle which I suspect is going to cause problems for him.”

Senior Constable Deary said three strangers had pulled the man from the water and called emergency services.

“They’ve heard the explosion from a way away, and have just come running to see what it was,” he said.

“And he’s yelling out in the water, ‘Get an ambulance’.

“They’ve dragged him in and just parked him on the bank here and made him as comfortable as they could until an ambulance arrived.”

Senior Constable Deary said it was fortunate no one else had been injured during the incident.

“It was lucky his girlfriend wasn’t on the back,” he said.

“It might have been a different story if it was in the middle of summer.”


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