A leisurely day of boating for a B.C. couple turned into an adrenaline-filled afternoon of improvised firefighting that left many who witnessed the spectacle heralding them as heroes.
Koyne Watson and Tasha Hunt used their jet boat’s towering spray to help battle a grass fire off the banks of the Thompson River just east of Kamloops, B.C. on Saturday.
The pair’s fight against the flames prompted applause from other boaters in the river.
The couple were taking their high-powered jet boat out for the first time this season, and had planned on a relaxing, hour-long pleasure cruise.
“We were actually just floating with some friends … and we noticed some smoke,” recalled Hunt. “And so I thought, ‘Oh my God, that’s a fire.'”
They steered the boat closer and Hunt said she “panicked,” realizing it was an actual fire. She quickly called emergency crews.
She said she could see houses near the intense grass fire.
‘Took a shot at it’
That’s when her fiancé, Watson, suggested using the massive spray at the end of their water-propelled boat to try to “snuff it out” until firefighters arrived.
They didn’t think the idea would work because the fire was high up on the river bank.
But they tried.
“He just spun the boat around and took a shot at it,” said Hunt.
“So he went again and again and it was crazy — people were cheering so we knew we were doing some kind of good on the flames.”
Watson, a self-professed “speed freak,” said he cranked the boat’s motor — nearly 1,000 horsepower — and targeted the blaze.
“I just drove that boat and hung on to that horsepower,” he said.
“We jumped it out of the water numerous times, we did a 360 [degrees] in it once, we were definitely hard on the boat for sure.”