Coast Guard Monitoring Sunken Boat Near Key West

KEY WEST, Fla. – The Coast Guard continues to monitor the salvage of the Miranda II after the vessel experienced an engine fire Wednesday near the Channel 5 bridge between Craig Key, Fla. and Fiesta Key, Fla.

The Coast Guard and partner agencies responded to a report from the crew of the Miranda II Wednesday that their engine room had caught fire. The crew of the Miranda II abandoned their vessel and were recovered from their life raft by a good Samaritan shortly after. While the Miranda II continued to burn it broke free from it’s anchorage and drifted under the Channel 5 bridge but was later towed south again by a Tow Boat U.S. commercial salvage vessel.

The Miranda II burned until it broke apart and started sinking at approximately 6 p.m. Wednesday then completely burned out shortly thereafter.

The owner of the Miranda II, Caleb Boyd, who was also on board when it caught fire is working with commercial salvage to recover the remnants of the Miranda II. A 250-gallon tank was removed from the waters Thursday near the Channel 5 bridge and the rest will be removed once the weather calms down and it’s safe to conduct salvage operations.

The Coast Guard and partner agencies continue to monitor the site for any pollution concerns with no pollution reported so far.

The following agencies assisted the Coast Guard with the Miranda II fire:

  • Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
  • Florida Department of Environmental Protection
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection
  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
  • Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
  • Monroe County Fire Department
  • Tow Boat U.S.
  • Sea Tow

The Coast Guard urges all mariners to check the weather conditions before they decide to head out on the water. While the adverse weather is not believed to be a causative factor in the Miranda II’s boat fire many people get surprised by the quickly changing weather conditions that result from the quick moving cold fronts that sweep through the Florida Keys during the winter months.

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