Coast Guard responds to boat fire, explosion

BOSTON (D1 Public Affairs) – The Coast Guard and several other state and local agencies responded when a fishing boat with one person aboard caught fire and exploded off the coast of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, about 10:30 a.m., today.

Kenneth Johnson called Coast Guard Sector Northern New England in South Portland, Maine, to report that his boat was on fire and he needed help. He later reported that immediately after calling for help, he put a survival suit on and went to the stern platform of his 45-foot lobster boat, Kimberly Marie. He said that within minutes there was a powerful explosion, which blew him into the water.

Simultaneously, Sector Northern New England was inundated with radio and phone reports of the explosion. They dispatched a Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Cape Cod, Mass., a 47-foot motor lifeboat from Station South Portland and a Coast Guard Auxiliary aircraft. Additionally, the Falmouth, Maine, and Portland, Maine, harbormasters, Saco, Maine, and Portland fire departments, and the Maine Marine Patrol responded.

An 18-foot sport fishing boat was in the area at the time of the explosion and recovered Johnson from the water. He appeared to be in stable condition. Johnson was then transferred to a Maine Marine Patrol vessel and taken to a local hospital for evaluation.

Station South Portland’s motor lifeboat enforced a safety zone around the burning lobster boat while the fireboats worked to extinguish the flames. The Kimberly Marie sank in 140 feet of water.

The Kimberly Marie was normally homeported in Cundy’s Harbor in Maine.

If you have any problems viewing this article, please report it here.