Gwinnett teens critically injured, but family survives boat explosion on Lake Lanier

The teenagers were flown to Grady Memorial Hospital after being pulled from the fire Sunday.

The teenagers were flown to Grady Memorial Hospital after being pulled from the fire Sunday.

Two teenage siblings were critically injured and their French Bulldog was killed when their family’s boat exploded on Lake Lanier. But the Gwinnett County family says they are lucky to be alive.

“The biggest blessing of all is that the family survived because it could have been so much worse,” family friend Heather Dirkse told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Coleman family was at the lake for a Mother’s Day outing when their boat caught on fire near Margaritaville at Lanier Islands around 2:30 p.m., according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. The explosion happened as the boat was refueling at the gas docks at the Port of Indecision, DNR spokesman Mark McKinnon told the AJC. The boat was fully ablaze when first responders arrived.

On Monday, the cause of the explosion remained under investigation. But a 13-year-old boy and his 16-year-old sister remained in the intensive care unit at Grady Memorial Hospital, Dirkse said. The teens were flown to the hospital after being pulled from the fire, which caused minor injuries to their parents and younger brother.

The family’s oldest child, the 16-year-old, sustained the most serious injuries, Dirkse said. She underwent extensive surgery Monday and is expected to remain sedated for at least a week.

“However, she has been responsive and there are very positive signs of movement in her limbs indicating nerves did not burn,” Dirkse said.

Despite the injuries, the family is grateful for the support it has received in the hours since the tragedy. A GoFundMe page has been created to assist the family.

“Keep them in your prayers and send positive healing vibes,” the fundraising page states. “They are a family of love and they appreciate the unbelievable outpouring of heartfelt support they have received from all over the country.”