Father and Son, Six, Suffer Horrific Second-Degree Burns After Speedboat Exploded in a Fireball on Brazilian Holiday {{favouriteCount}} Quantity of Likes

A British father and his six-year-old son suffered horrific second-degree burns when their speedboat exploded into a fireball in Brazil.

Robbie Weich, 39, and his son Luca were trapped on the boat when it caught fire, while Mr Weich's wife Renata and their friends was thrown into the water from the blast.

The London-based family members were on on a summer holiday in Brazil when they decided to take a river trip from the northern city of Belem, capital of the state of Para.

But father-of-two Mr Weich said they were rocked by a 'massive explosion' just 30 seconds into the journey.

While Mrs Weich and two friends were thrown into the water from the back of the boat, the rest of the group were stuck on the blazing craft.

'We realised we were literally on fire,' said Mr Weich, who was badly burned on his forearm, face and legs.

Mr Weich and his cousin jumped in the water, but in the chaos he did not realise his son was still on board with a friend, who was holding onto him.

Luca was rescued by others in their party at the scene, but he was already badly burnt on his forearms.

The injured were all taken to the nearest state hospital in Belem.

There were not enough beds for all of them in the burns unit, so Mr Weich ended up in a general ward, lying next to casualties who had been 'shot and stabbed'.

As well as enduring the agonising burns, Mr Weich was also battling a dangerous infection he picked up in the water.

 His injuries were so severe he was airlifted 6,000 miles back to London for specialist treatment at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

Mrs Weich was not badly injured in the accident so she stayed with Luca for the week it took for him to recover.

'His burns really healed so well - he has had no scarring,' said Mr Weich.

'We are all home now and recovering well with no lasting damage or permanent scarring.'

And that's when Mr Weich's luck took an unusual turn. He was presented with a Porsche 4x4 after winning a competition through company Best Of The Best.

William Hindmarch, the boss of Best Of The Best - which gives away a dream car every two weeks through competitions in airports, shopping centres and online - was on hand to personally hand over the keys to the Porsche Cayenne, and a bottle of bubbly for good measure.

Mr Weich, a regular air traveller to Brazil with his wood importing business, said the win was surreal.

He said: 'You think you would run up and down about it, but when it happened to me I was basically in shock.

'I think after the accident you start to think that I could have died,' he said. Life is too short - I am going to enjoy this car now with my family and friends.'

Mr Weich has since returned to Brazil and said he planned to visit Belem with a box of his children's unwanted toys, so they could be used to cheer up sick children in the hospital that cared for his family.

He said: 'It is one of the first things I will be doing - seeing all the people who helped us through, going and taking this donation down to the hospital.

'The people were just absolutely fantastic. Even at the marina there was a doctor who specialised in burns.

'The people there have got the same professional level, but the resources and the infrastructure are not the same.'


Back to Homepage 4 Jan 2022