Two children escape in dinghy as boat catches fire off Auckland's Waiheke Island

Source: 1News

Two children and two adults used a dinghy to retreat to shore after a boat caught fire near Waiheke Island in Auckland this morning. 

A man in his 40s, meanwhile, stayed behind to try to extinguish the fire. After the attempt failed, he swam to shore and was later treated for smoke inhalation, an Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust spokesman said. 

The man was flown to Auckland Hospital in moderate condition, while the four others escaped with only minor injuries, authorities said.

Fire crews were alerted to the fire around 6.30 this morning but were unable to get to the remote location for some time. They used two portable pumps to contain the blaze.

Those aboard the boat said the fire started when the engine key was turned on, an Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust spokesman said.