Long-time Sun ‘n Fun volunteer Robert Romanelli was killed Jan. 3 when an explosion occurred on a boat he was on board in Del Ray, Florida.
Romanelli, who volunteered at Sun ‘n Fun for 26 years, served as a Classic judge in the Aircraft Judging area and most recently in the Rotorcraft area. “He could always be counted on to roll up his sleeves and get right in there to get the job done,” said Sun ‘n Fun officials.
According to a report at WPTV.com, Romanelli, 67, was inside the cabin of the boat, owned by his cousin, at the time of the explosion. His cousin, William Ryan of Highland Beach, Florida, and his brother, Paul Romanelli of East Hartford, Connecticut, were on the boat’s top deck at the time of the blast and were thrown into the water. Both men were taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The boat was being refueled at the time of the explosion.
The explosion is under investigation by the State Fire Marshal.