Coast Guard, Seabrook and Kemah fire crews respond to boat fire under Kemah bridge

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HOUSTON — The Coast Guard along with fire departments from Seabrook and Kemah, Texas, responded to a boat fire under the Highway 146 bridge Friday.

The three people aboard the 50-foot burning boat, Botox, were able to escape and no injuries were reported.

A good Samaritan aboard the vessel Sea Candy saw the boat on fire and notified Coast Guard Sector Houston/Galveston watchstanders at 1:45 p.m. The watchstanders put a safety zone in place, diverted a Coast Guard Air Station Houston MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew, deployed a boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Houston and ground crews from the sector as well as reaching out to partner agencies. The Seabrook and Kemah fire departments responded with five fire trucks and two fire boat crews to combat the fire.

A boat burns under the 146 bridge near Kemah Boardwalk in Kemah, Texas, Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. Three people aboard the boat were able to get off safely, and a good Samaritan reported the fire to the Coast Guard, which initiated the response. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Sector Houston/Galveston)

A boat burns under the 146 bridge near Kemah Boardwalk in Kemah, Texas, Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Sector Houston/Galveston)

The fire crews arrived quickly and were unable to fully extinguish the fire without completely sinking the boat, but they were able to move it to a safe location out of the channel.

The cause of the fire is unknown and the Coast Guard will conduct a marine casualty investigation.

“A good Samaritan was proactive in reporting the fire which led to a quick response,” said Elvie Damaso, a watchstander at the sector. “In this case it happened close to shore and the boaters were able to get to shore safely. However, if it happened offshore there may not be a good Samaritan in the vicinity or they may not be in range of other vessels. Boaters should ensure their equipment is working properly, they have a vessel safety check and have the proper safety equipment for the type of voyage they are taking. Have lifejackets readily available, a properly registered EPIRB and other safety equipment.”

An EPIRB is an Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacon and transmits your position to rescuers via satellite when you are in distress.

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