Coast Guard responds to boat fire in the Florida Keys

KEY WEST, Fla. — Coast Guard and partner agencies are responding to a boat fire near the Channel 5 bridge between Craig Key, Fla. and Fiesta Key, Fla.

Coast Guard search-and-rescue coordinators at Sector Key West received a call from the crew of the Miranda II, a 45-foot trawler-style yacht, who reported their engine room was on fire and they were at anchor approximately a half mile south of the Channel 5 bridge at approximately 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The Coast Guard responded immediately by launching two boatcrews from Station Islamorada. Two boatcrews from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission responded as well.

At approximately 2:45 p.m. the crew of the Miranda II reported that the fire was out of control and that they were going to abandon the boat into a life raft. A good Samaritan in the area responded to a Coast Guard issued Urgent Marine Information Broadcast that solicited for any boats in the area to help, and arrived on scene and took the two crew, Caleb Boyd, a 56 year-old male and Lauren Luik, a 51 year-old female off the life raft.

Monroe County Sherriff’s Office deputies responded to the Channel 5 bridge to regulate traffic over the bridge if necessary. The Monroe County Fire Department responded to the area as well to provide support.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Sea Tow, and Tow Boat U.S. boatcrews responded to provide support as needed.

At approximately 4 p.m. the Miranda II broke free from it’s anchorage and started drifting towards the Channel 5 bridge at which point a Tow Boat U.S. vessel was able to establish a make-shift tow and tow the Miranda II away from the bridge again.

Currently the Miranda II is still on fire approximately a half mile south of the Channel 5 bridge with Coast Guard and FWC boatcrews on scene and monitoring the situation. Coast Guard is working with the Florida National Keys Marine Sanctuary and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to monitor the Miranda II for possible pollution concerns.

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