Coast Guard responds to burning fishing boat

BOSTON- Coast Guard crews responded to a fishing boat that caught fire around 4:30 p.m., today, about two miles south of Rockport, Mass.

No injuries were reported for the captain of the Catch-a-Tuna, the only person aboard the boat.

At 4:32 p.m., the Rockport Harbormaster called Coast Guard Station Gloucester and reported that the 42-foot fishing boat was engulfed in flames near Milk Island, but that the captain had safely abandoned ship on a dinghy.

A 25-foot boat crew launched from Station Gloucester. Coast Guard Cutter Grand Isle, a 110-foot cutter from Gloucester, was in the area and diverted to the scene.

Crews determined it was too dangerous to fight the fire based on the captain’s report of a 20-pound propane tank and about 130 gallons of fuel onboard.

The fire burned out around around 8 p.m.

Although no pollution has been reported, a Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Cape Cod is scheduled to conduct an over flight Friday morning to confirm.

The Catch-a-Tuna is submerged in about 60 feet of water and the boat owner is working on a salvage plan.

“The captain did the right thing by abandoning ship and calling for help,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Adam Smart, the officer of the day at Station Gloucester. “The Rockport Harbormaster was a big help in this case. They were first on the scene and took the captain aboard.”

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