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Here's How Crews Recovered A Melted Fiberglass Powerboat From The Lake [PHOTOS]

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Certain jobs are built around the dramatic. And only certain people are built to handle them.

Tim McNitt with Lake Tow knows that as well as anyone at Lake of the Ozarks. He's the diver and co-operator of the Lake's boat-towing operation, and last week, he donned his dive gear and hopped in the water at the 59 Mile Marker to recover a powerboat that had burned to the waterline several days before.

The boat had caught fire while docked, the evening of July 20, around the 59 Mile Marker. The owner tried to start it, and it burst into flames. Thinking quickly, the owner pushed the boat out into the cove, though not before the fire began spreading to the dock. No serious damage to the dock was reported.

The boat burned to the waterline out in the cove, and Lake Tow was called in to recover it. They brought a four-man crew, and it went "pretty smoothly," McNitt said, but that's a relative term.

Tim McNitt Endures The Burn Of Gas & Fiberglass As He Preps Boat For Recovery

"Burnt fiberglass gets on you, and you get burnt from the gas in the water," McNitt explained. He also said the powerboat had been damaged so badly, it was structurally unsound.

Recovering Burnt Powerboat At 59 Mile Marker

So a straightforward float-and-pull operation where airbags lift the sunken high enough in the water for the tow boat to haul it to a ramp for extraction wouldn't work: the boat might break apart. "We had to cradle it with airbags," he said.

Airbags Floating Burnt Powerboat At 59 Mile Marker

That created a gentler lift on the fragile hull, allowing Lake Tow to get the boat back on land in one piece.

Melted Fiberglass And The Charred Remains Of Boat That Burned At 59 Mile Marker
Melted Fiberglass On Boat That Burned At 59 Mile Marker

Boats, Bulldozer, & Airplane: More Incredible Recovery Stories From Tim McNitt

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