WRITTEN OFF: The wreck of the ski boat that burnt to the waterline on Sunday at Fairbairn Dam.
WRITTEN OFF: The wreck of the ski boat that burnt to the waterline on Sunday at Fairbairn Dam. Contributed

Ski boat bursts into flames on Fairbairn dam

ONE local boatie's hopes for a winter's day afloat on the Fairbairn Dam were sunk when his vessel erupted in flames on Sunday morning.

Emerald QFRS station lieutenant Tony Yelland said there were two males on the ski boat when the engine suddenly backfired through the carburettor and caught alight about 11am near the recreational boat ramp.

"They were setting themselves up for a day's outing and it wasn't to be," Lt Yelland said.

"The man (we spoke with) said he was doing up his boat and wasn't far out, about 30m, and warming up the boat for the day when the engine backfired and caused him grief.

"He was a little bit concerned the fuel tanks might explode… there wasn't much left."

The man (we spoke with) said he was doing up his boat and wasn't far out, about 30m, and warming up the boat for the day when the engine backfired and caused him grief.

Lt Yelland commended the man for having the presence of mind to turn the craft back to the ramp and let it burn to the waterline in shallow water.

It took firefighters 20 minutes to respond to the 000 call and the boat was still alight.

"Environmentally it wasn't bad, we just put a bit more water on it and cooled it down really quickly," Lt Yelland said.

"Everything was contained within the vessel and nothing got out into the dam.

"I think he did the right thing. He got the boat turned in to shore and bailed out when it was safe to do so."

Lt Yelland said all boaties should ensure they had the proper safety equipment on board.

Lt Yelland confirmed there were life jackets on board the ski boat, which was written off.

Emerald police also attended in the incident.