Fresh off his comeback Bassmaster Elite Series win, Jamie Hartman displayed more heroics when he came to the aid of a couple whose boat burned and sank on Oneida Lake.
“I made a mad dash to a burning boat and rescued this older couple from the water after they bailed from the boat. Everyone is OK just a bit shaken up!”
Hartman posted that along with a video showing black smoke billowing from the boat as a helicopter circled. The man he picked up turns to the camera and is heard saying, “The boat’s name is Devil Or Angel. I guess today was the devil.”
Hartman served as guardian angel.
Originally from New York state, Hartman opted to stick with plans to pre-practice for next month’s northern swing instead of attending ICAST. He was fishing with a couple others when they passed a pontoon boat and heard one of its occupants yell.
“This guy goes, ‘Hey look at that!’ I turned and saw black smoke just pouring out of this boat,” Hartman said. “I saw flames. It was right in the middle of the lake and I had just drove through there, so I knew it must have just happened.
“I know there has to be people on that boat. But I’m not going to go on that boat, because now it’s fully engulfed. They’re probably in the water — I was hoping to God they bailed.”
As he raced over and went around the large pleasure boat, Hartman found the older man and woman floating with life jackets on. He got them in his boat then idled away as the man said the gas tank was full.
“The guy told me there were just driving along and all the sudden, BOOOOF!! It came from underneath the front — the whole floorboards just blew up,” he said. “All the smoke started coming up and he tried to get a fire extinguisher on it. By the time he did, it was already in flames and his wife was yelling at him to get off the boat.”