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A 7-year-old boy and his father suffered leg injuries when their boat exploded at Waikawa Marina in Picton this morning.
A Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter spokesman said the vessel had just finished refuelling when the explosion happened.
A 42-year-old man and his son, from Wellington were both thrown across the boat and suffered moderate injuries.
They were treated and flown to Wellington Hospital after the incident, about 9am.
Port Marlborough deputy harbour master Alan Coughlan said the boat was preparing to move away after refuelling when the engine was turned on.
"There was a petrol fume that exploded."
The debris struck the victims' legs, he said.
The explosion was heard about 700m away by Stuart Scaife from Boating Marlborough.
"I heard a dull thud and I wondered what it was," he said.
He assumed it was nearby oil drums making noises by expanding or contracting.
A nearby resident, who did not want to be named, said the explosion "sounded like a bit of a boomph".
Port Marlborough chief executive Ian McNabb said he understood there were two other people on board the boat, which belonged to a local.
- Rebecca Quilliam of APNZ