Grandfather credits grandson with saving his life after boat catches fire

Published: Apr. 10, 2015 at 10:31 PM CDT|Updated: May. 8, 2015 at 6:32 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GUNTERSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - A grandfather credits his grandson with saving his life after a boat caught fire on Lake Guntersville on Friday.

It happened just before 5 p.m. near the causeway bridge on Highway 69, according to Guntersville fire officials.

The 69-year-old grandfather and his teenage grandson recently changed their boat's battery and were trying to get the engine to crank when it exploded and caught fire.

The explosion knocked off the grandfather's glasses and caused his hearing aide to fall out. He says without his 15-year-old grandson's help, he may not have survived.

"All of a sudden it just blew up," said grandfather, Don Stewart.

The boat quickly caught on fire, and they tried to put it out.

"It done blazed up more," said Stewart.

They were out of options.

"He grabbed me and we jumped in the water," said grandson, Noah Hilburn.

Stewart began struggling to keep his head above water.

"He told me to leave and that he wasn't going to make it," said Hilburn.

However his grandson, Noah Hilburn didn't give up on him.

"I told him that he was going to have to come on," said Hilburn.

Hilburn pulled Stewart to shore.

"And if it hadn't been for him I would have probably drowned," said Stewart.

Hilburn did suffer some burns in the explosion. He was treated at a hospital and has since been released.

Copyright 2015 WAFF. All rights reserved.