Washington Township fire crews say the flames have been put out after a boat caught fire at the Lost Peninsula Marina near Point Place. A fire dispatcher says a boat caught fire near the gas dock. No injuries are reported and investigators are still working to figure out how the fire started.
A boat fire at the Venice Yacht Club dock Tuesday afternoon is believed to have caused about $1 million in damage — with two boats heavily burned and at least one other heavily scorched.
Nelly Florez and Elisa Martinez, who both work for Sarasota County at the Higel Park boat ramp next door, said they walked outside when they smelled smoke.
“We came out and that one with the ashes started the fire — the whole thing — the fire then went to the blue one and the green one on the right, and the white one on the left,” Flores said.
The blue boat Flores referred to — the Charis out of Fort Walton Beach — was one of two boats that were fully engulfed by flames when Venice firefighters arrived shortly after 1:40 p.m.
Sail la Vie, out of Sarasota, had scorch marks on its side.
A fourth boat, on the starboard side of the one where the fire started, had its sails catch on fire and some scorching on its hull. At least one dock was heavily burned as well.
“Our units arrived on the scene and two vessels were fully involved when we got here, so we called out for multiple units,” Venice Fire Chief Shawn Carvey said. “We were able to get water on the fire rather quickly.”
Crews from Sarasota County and the Nokomis volunteer fire departments responded to the scene, as did Venice Police, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Sea Tow.
Northbound Tarpon Center Drive was closed as emergency personnel responded.
No one was injured in the fire.
Carvey said the U.S. Coast Guard will be called in as will the state fire marshal because of the value of the vessels damaged.
Firefighters had to extinguish the fire quickly and used both foam and water, so they wouldn’t sink the two boats on fire.
“They carried a large amount of diesel fuel in them, up to 600 gallons a vessel,” Carvey said. “If you end up sinking the vessel, then you have a hazardous situation.”
The fire was under control by 3:40 p.m.
Carvey said early reports are that one vessel recently had an electrical issue that may have helped cause the fire.
“Technically right now, it’s going to go as undetermined until there’s further investigation,” Carvey said.
The boats were still too hot for investigators to board.
“It’s going to take a while to cool it,” Carvey said.
A boat fire that caused approximately $30,000 worth of damage, Saturday night is under investigation, authorities say.
On Oct. 27, around 8:40 p.m., crews from the Bay District Volunteer Fire Department and other surrounding agencies responded to 23700 block of Bill Dixon Road, California for the report of a working structure fire.
According to the Office of the State Fire Marshal's Office, a passer-by in the area of the Town Creek Marina discovered the boat, a 39' Pacemaker in a fully involved fire. Crews were able to extinguish the fire in 15 minutes. Forty firefighters responded to the incident in total.
Investigators were able to determine that fire started from inside the boat but the cause is still under investigation. There were no injures as a result of this incident.
Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Office of the State Fire Marshal, Southern Regional Office, at 443-550-6834.
The Coast Guard is searching for three people after a fishing vessel caught fire Saturday night, sending two people to the hospital and leading to the rescue of 15 more.
According to the Coast Guard, the crew of a 42-foot fishing vessel named “Time Machine” called to report seeing a fire at 9:35 p.m. 28 miles south of Point Loma. The good Samaritans aboard the boat were able to pull 15 people out of the water, including two who were injured.
10News spoke to the captain and crew of "Time Machine."
Captain Mike Koesterer and his crew were on their way back into San Deigo from a fishing trip in Baja California when he saw an explosion in international waters.
"I saw an orange flash," he said. For the next 20 minutes, he drove his vessel closer to the ball of fire. The next thing he saw will be etched in his mind forever.
“We thought it might be a few people. But we kept on counting and counting and counting," Koesterer said.
In the water, he and his crew witnessed 15 people screaming for help. Some had life vests. Others were wading. That's when his son Reeve changed into his diving suit and jumped in to help.
“I knew there were going to be burns, but I didn’t think it would be that bad,” Reeve Koesterer said.
He first pulled up a woman without a life vest. She desperately grabbed his hair and used Koesterer as a floatation device. The next few rescues were a blur. One by one, he carried and pulled the burn victims onto the "Time Machine."
During the rescue, one of the victims told Reeve Koesterer that this was part of a human smuggling operation.
“Do whatever we can to get them out of the water. No matter what the case is. They’re still lives,” Reeve Koesterer said.
Andy Vo is usually responsible for shooting and editing fishing videos for the "Time Machine's" charter trips. Last night, he was also documenting the rescue on his phone. As the Koesterers were pulling people on board, Vo comforted the victims-- giving them blankets and coffee.
“People that we rescued. He called us angels," Vo said.
What are the odds that a fishing boat carrying Reeve Koesterer-- a young, bilingual English Spanish speaker, expert diver -- would be right there to save those lives? Koesterer believes perhaps it was divine intervention.
“It’s something from the Lord," Koesterer said. "If we weren’t there at the right time, then they wouldn’t be here now."