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Firefighters respond to boat fire near Gainesville Marina on Lake Lanier
Smoke rises from a boat fire July 3, 2018, on Lake Lanier near Gainesville Marina off Dawsonville Highway. - photo by David Barnes

Shortly after putting the boat in Lake Lanier, David Scott could see and smell smoke billowing around him. He grabbed his glasses and jumped ship.

“I swam as fast as I could away from that boat, because I knew it was full of gas. I just filled it up,” said Scott, 60, of Gainesville.

The boat was still burning after 5 p.m. Tuesday on Lake Lanier across the channel from Gainesville Marina, according to authorities.

Hall County Fire Services is on the scene of the fire near the Dawsonville Highway bridge.

Capt. Zachary Brackett said the fire was still burning “close to shore with our personnel evaluating the scene.”

Scott said he was OK, but still a little bit in shock.

The boat was towed to Simpson Park “for extinguishment by fire service personnel,” Brackett said.

Scott said a good Samaritan on a personal watercraft picked him up and took him to a boat manned by the Hall County Sheriff’s Office.