By John Balch
KIRBY – The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is currently investigating a flash fire explosion aboard a boat that injured several Nashville residents Saturday on Lake Greeson.
AGFC Corporal Keith Teague said the incident burned five of eight people aboard the boat, which was a Fountain cabin cruiser owned and operated by Brian Aylett who had just purchased the boat a few days before. The incident happened at Kirby Landing Marina and was reported around 1:15 p.m. Saturday.
Teague said the Aylett boat had just taken on around $400 worth of gas and had pushed away from the dock and the boat’s ignition was engaged. Gas fumes from the boat’s twin inboard engines below apparently ignited and flashed up. Teague said the boaters jumped into the water after being burned by the flash fire.
Teague reported that there were four adults onboard – Mike, Brian, Sharon and Nichole Aylett – along with four children. Mike Aylett was airlifted from the scene, two children went by ground ambulance and the rest by private vehicle with all ending up in Little Rock for treatment.
Teague also reported that the boat received minimal damage and was still intact and floating when it was removed from the lake Sunday.
Nichole Aylett, who was on the boat and received burns to her face, has been giving updates about her family on social media. She posted that Lindsey Aylett received burns on 35 percent of her body and has already undergone surgery with more likely this week. Laken Aylett also underwent surgery this week, and her and Mike will be evaluated this week. Another youth onboard, Dale Barnett, was also injured and is also being held for continued evaluations this week.
Nichole Aylett also posted that those injured have begun some therapy and “pain seems to be their biggest barrier right now.”
She added, “We have been so touched by the outpouring of love, calls and texts. Please keep praying for pain relief and healing.”
Agencies assisting the AGFC Saturday were the Kirby Volunteer Fire Department and first responders, Pike County Sheriff’s Department, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, AirEvac and Guardian Ambulance Service.
The Aylett family attends the Blue Bayou Church of Christ and the church is now taking up a collection for the family. Donations can be made to:
154 Pump Springs Road
Nashville, AR 71852