Shrimp boat catches fire in Pamlico Sound

PAMLICO SOUND, N.C. – Good Samaritans rescued three crewmembers from a burning shrimping vessel near the Bluff Shoal Friday.

Crew members from the fishing vessel Lady Susie II safely removed all three crew members from the 75-foot vessel, First Chance, after Coast Guard watchstanders received calls at approximately 3:45 p.m., from the crew aboard the North Carolina Ferry Roanoke.

The Roanoke reported seeing heavy smoke to the northwest. At 3:57 p.m., the crew aboard the fishing vessel Lady Susie II also reported seeing the vessel on fire.

Coast Guard Station Hatteras Inlet and Coast Guard Station Ocracoke launched crews on two rescue boats after receiving the initial call. Station Ocracoke’s 24-foot rescue boat crew was the first on scene and found the fishing vessel pilot house fully engulfed in flames.

Station Hatteras Inlet’s 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew arrived and then transferred the three crew members of the fishing vessel to Far Creek in Engelhard, N.C.

The fishing vessel First Chance was still on fire at 7 p.m., but it is of no danger to any other boats, said Petty Officer 1st Class Brian Biefeld, Station Hatteras Inlet’s command duty officer.

The Coast Guard has established a safety zone in position 35 degrees 16.08 minutes north and 75 degrees 54.59 minutes west, and will continue to monitor the situation.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time and under investigation.

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