Coast Guard responds to boat fire in the Florida Keys

KEY WEST, Fla. – A Coast Guard boatcrew from Station Key West responded to a vessel fire aboard the Gulf Stream III about 12 miles soutwest of Key West Tuesday.

Coast Guard search-and-rescue coordinators at Sector Key West received a radio distress call, from crew aboard the Gulf Stream III at approximately 12:30 p.m., stating they were on fire with two people aboard and needed help.

The Coast Guard responded immediately by launching a rescue boatcrew from Station Key West and contacting the Key West Fire Department for additional assistance.

A good Samaritan in the area witnessing the fire transferred the two people to safety aboard their vessel.

Once the boatcrew from Station Key West arrived on scene they established a one-mile safety zone around the Gulf Stream III. The Key West Fire Department boatcrew arrived on scene and determined it was safest to let the fire burn itself out.

At approximately 4:20 p.m., the Gulf Stream III sank 13 miles southwest of Key West, approximately 2 1/2 miles south of the reef. Coast Guard marine investigators are coordinating with the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to determine final disposition on the vessel.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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