Skip to main content

Officials begin investigation into Alabama marina fire


Investigators are focusing on one boat as the possible cause of a fire that killed eight people and destroyed 35 boats early Monday morning at Jackson County Park Marina in Scottsboro, Ala. About two dozen people lived aboard houseboats at the marina.

County officials said four of the eight people who died were children but declined to release names, according to the Associated Press. The children were 7, 9, 10 and 16 years old. The coroner has not released the causes of death.

Julie Jackson, who lives aboard on a different dock at the marina, told the news service she will always remember people crying for help. “I don’t ever want to see anything like that again in my life,” she said.

David Kennamer, who runs the marina shop, called the deaths a tragedy. “The rich folks would be in a bigger, nicer houseboat somewhere else. These were just average people like me and you that love boating, staying on the water,” he said. “They love the boating life.”

Thousands of feet of floating barriers were placed around the fire scene to contain environmental damage. There appear to have been minimal pollution or oil spills into the Tennessee River, Fire Chief Gene Necklaus told the service. Necklaus said that if the boat under investigation did not cause the blaze, they would look for other possible causes.

Five boats have been removed, but about 30 boats remain under water.

A Red Cross representative said about 25 people were believed to have lived aboard boats at the dock full time when the fire happened.

“If this had happened in July it would have been so much more tragic,” Kennamer said.



ABC 2022: A Full Schedule

The second day of the American Boating Congress included awards presentations, Capitol Hill sessions with lawmakers, an economic report, a state-of-the-industry address and statements from NMMA lobbyists.


Gas Prices Soar to Record Highs

Oil supply concerns have lifted the average U.S. price of regular unleaded gasoline to $4.432 per gallon, according to AAA.


All-Women Team Designs New Sea Ray

Parent company Brunswick Corp. said the achievement highlights its successes in promoting diversity in the marine workforce.


Get Out Ahead of E15 Misfueling

With 15 percent ethanol-blended gasoline approved for summer use, “it’s déjà vu all over again.” Meanwhile, MRAA is offering a wealth of resources for dealers to get into the preowned market.


ABC Gets Underway in Washington, D.C.

The American Boating Congress opened yesterday, and NMMA outlined four pieces of legislation that are its top advocacy initiatives.


Beneteau Reports Higher Boat Revenue, Flat Outlook

The builder said boat sales rose in the first quarter, with North American sales outperforming, but it did not change its full-year guidance.