A MAN suffered burns to his head and arms after fire broke out on a boat this afternoon.

A man from Hullbridge, believed to be in his 50s, was filling the engine of the 28ft motor launch with fuel when vapour created in the air caught light instantly in a “flashover”.

Firefighters from Southend and Rochford fire stations rushed to Essex Marina, on Wallasea Island, where the boat was moored, at about midday, but the injured skipper had managed to put out the fire using a dry powder extinguisher.

Some plastics on the boat, which was moored to a pontoon on the River Crouch about 20ft from the shore, melting, but the craft was saved due to the fire victim’s quick actions.

Sub-officer Angus Neale, of Southend Fire Station, said: “The guy was filling his motor vehicle with fuel when he created fuel vapour in the engine compartment, which was ignited by any one of a number of electrical sources in the engine.

“He suffered singing to his head and arms, but managed to put out the fire before we arrived using a dry powder extinguisher.”