It was a busy Saturday on Warwick Cove with boaters headed to distant places such as Block Island and Cuttyhunk for the long weekend.
Jerry English had been pumping gas at Warwick Cove Marina pretty much all day when the activity slowed down and 57-year-old Gerald Bergeuine Jr. – who keeps and has lived on his boat at the marina for the last year – pulled in for gas.
English pumped the gas and Bergeuine was preparing to pull away from the gas dock. English remembers hearing the engine turn over, yet it didn’t start. It kept stalling. He was prepared to cast off the bowline when Bergeuine was ready.
That never happened.
“It backfired,” said English, who also described the event as “an explosion.” Almost instantly the boat was engulfed in flames and black smoke.
Bergeuine was blown out of the wheelhouse, but he had been burned.