Honoured: Kyle Smith and his two little brothers, Manning and Gordon, are flanked by Cheryl Hayward-Chew, right, and Antonia Mills who presented Mr. Smith with $500 worth of gift vouchers for his brave actions. *Photo by Simon Jones

Honoured: Kyle Smith and his two little brothers, Manning and Gordon, are flanked by Cheryl Hayward-Chew, right, and Antonia Mills who presented Mr. Smith with $500 worth of gift vouchers for his brave actions. *Photo by Simon Jones

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A Jet Skier who towed a burning boat out to sea to stop the flames spreading to nearby premises has been hailed a hero.

Traders in St. George’s clubbed together to recognize Kyle Smith’s bravery and present him with a token of their appreciation.

They say the boat fire could have resulted in a “catastrophe” for local businesses had it not been for the 24-year-old’s quick thinking.

Mr. Smith was on his jet ski travelling through St. George’s Harbour on June 2 when he noticed smoke spewing into the air from the boat.

A fire broke out on the craft as it was being filled up with gas at Dowling’s Shell Marine Station.

Mr. Smith told the Sun: “It was properly on fire when I saw it so I headed in to see if there was anything I could do to help.

“They guys who had been on the board were motioning me to take the boat out to sea so the fire wouldn’t spread.

“But it was difficult to tie it to the Jet Ski because the heat was so intense. I did the best knot I could and headed out to sea.”

He added: “I could feel the heat coming from the boat behind me and then all the flares started going off.

“I thought they were going to hit me in the head but I just kept going. When I got far enough out I untied the boat – the heat was unbearable now – and just left it.

“I got as far away from the boat as quickly as I could just in case she blew.”

On Wednesday traders got the chance to thank Mr. Smith in person for his brave actions.

Cheryl Hayward-Chew, president of the Meyer group of companies, said: “What he did that day was quite incredible.

“If the boat had been left where it was the flames would have spread to the umbrellas in front of the Tavern By The Sea and then towards our building.

“It could have been disastrous for all the businesses and the restaurants if Kyle had not come along when he did.”

Antonia Mills from Freisenbruch-Meyer added: “It was an incredibly selfless act. If it had not been for his quick thinking we could have been dealing with a local catastrophe where buildings would have been ablaze, too.

“Kyle put himself in harms way for the benefit of other people – we are all grateful he was in the area at the time.”

Mr. Smith was presented with a gift voucher worth $500 by the two firms close to the scene of the drama earlier this week.

He was accompanied by many members of his family for the presentation.

He said: “I think I just did what every Bermudian should do in that kind of situation.

“I appreciate the award but I did not expect anything for what I did.”