Man, children rescued
as boat engine burns

VERONA — A man and two children escaped injury when their boat caught fire in South Bay on Oneida Lake Friday afternoon.

The sheriff’s Marine Patrol Unit responded to the 2:52 p.m. alarm when the 75 horsepower outboard engine erupted in flames on a 20-foot 2003 Crestliner pontoon boat. The operator, B.T. White, 47, of Verona, stated that he was drifting in 20 feet of water when the engine turned off and began to smoke and catch fire, deputies said. A passing boater came to assist by suppressing the flames with a fire extinguisher and safely brought the victims aboard his vessel, which included Lucas Candee, 10, and his brother Griffin Candee, 11, both of Oneida Castle. Deputies said all three victims were wearing personal flotation devices when they were rescued.

The Sylvan Beach Fire/Rescue boat arrived at the scene a short time later to extinguish the blaze.