9 people rescued from boat fire in Sarasota – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports
SARASOTA, Florida (WSVN) – A day of boating turned into a disaster when a fire broke out in Sarasota Bay.
Firefighters and other boaters nearby ran to rescue the nine people aboard a fiery boat.
Nine passengers encountered a shipload of trouble on the water on Saturday.
“You saw black smoke coming from all over the boat,” said witness Tony Hart.
Police and fire and rescue workers reacted to a 24-foot ship in Sarasota that was on fire.
Officer Michael Skinner said the boat had mechanical problems. It started when the boat owner heard the engine stutter.
“He opened the hood, found there was smoke, turned on the fan, the fan did its job of removing the smoke from the cabin, then turned the boat off, turned it on again, made room and that Boot shut down. He opened the hood again and found the ship on fire, ”Skinner said.
Within minutes, nearby boaters came in to help.
“Before we were all in the water, we had boats around us to help us. We had help immediately, ”said one of the passengers.
“Some Good Samaritans from the Sarasota Sailing Squadron, local charter captains and a jet ski were able to get some of the passengers off the burning ship into their position,” Skinner said.
The fire was extinguished in less than 10 minutes.
Skinner said boat fires are not common in Sarasota.
“We don’t usually see such intense fires on a monthly or even yearly basis,” Skinner said.
“Actually, it shocked me because I wasn’t expecting it. This is the first time I’ve seen something like this, ”said Hart.
The boat is now irreparable and sits in 10 feet of water.
“We will be monitoring it to make sure there are no fluids, fuels or oils leaking out to make sure that if it is removed it will not pose a marine hazard,” Skinner said.
A close call for everyone on board, but everyone made it back to shore safely.
“Life is good, we live,” said one passenger.
Officials said they would have to wait for calmer waters to remove the boat, but they hope to do so by Monday.
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