Mom suffers severe burns in Garland Co. boat explosion

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark, — A Saline County mom is being treated for severe burns after a boat explosion in Garland County over the weekend. 

Ashley Drysdale says her family was preparing to go tubing on Lake Catherine when their boat exploded Saturday. Drysdale along with her dad, sister, and young niece suffered severe burns.

“It was fight or flight,” Drysdale said. “I was panicked looking for my kids. I’m not even worried about my hands that are pruned up and burnt to a crisp.”

The mom of two says the explosion happened just as they were getting the boat in the water at the ramp. She says most of her family was on the boat so everyone jumped off into waist deep water. 

“You hear the start of the engine, dut dut dut and then it just makes this big pow sound and there were flames everywhere,” she recalled. “They were screaming at us to get out of the water, get out of the water because the boat could explode, but I didn’t want to get out of the water because I knew I was burnt all the way down.”

Drysdale is grateful witnesses jumped in, helping pull her infant son and young daughter to safety. 

“Two different people saved my kids,” she said.  “I’m very thankful people were there to help.”

Arkansas Game and Fish is investigating the cause of the explosion, officers say it may have been caused by gas that leaked inside the boat. 

The family who spends their summers boating on the lake, calls it a tragic accident.

“We did every thing right,” said Drysdale’s husband Justin. “We tested the motor and the boat out the weekend before and everything was fine.”

With her legs and hands covered in 2nd degree burns, Drysdale is staying at the burn unit at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. 

“I can make it through this and he can play mom for a couple days and you know we have this,” she said, “I’m just glad that we still have our family.”

Friends of the family are trying to help them afford growing medical costs. You can find more information about that push by clicking here. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

More Don't Miss