FWC spokesman Officer Bobby Dube said the Miss Budweiser, a 1961 Coastwise fishing boat, was southwest of Boot Key near the Seven Mile Bridge around 10 a.m. when it started taking on water. Three men aboard jumped into the water after it caught on fire, Dube said, after which a passing boater picked them up and waited for the FWC to arrive. They were not injured, he said.
“By the time we got there the boat was in flames,” said Officer Robert Gonzales with the Marathon Coast Guard station. “We have limited firefighting capabilities so we monitored it to make sure it wouldn’t drift under the bridge, then it sank.”
He said the water in which the boat sank is about 11 feet deep and about a mile and a half offshore.
“Right now, we don’t know the start of the fire,” Gonzales said, adding whether the vessel is recovered has yet to be determined.