The U.S. Coast Guard alerted local firefighters to the blaze just before 4 p.m. Tuesday, said Ventura County Fire Department Capt. Brian McGrath, a spokesman for the agency.
Crews with the city of Ventura Fire Department also responded, he said.
Coast Guard Petty Officer Davonte Marrow said a good Samaritan first caught sight of the boat on fire about 6 nautical miles west of the Channel Islands. The Good Samaritan was able to rescue the lone occupant of the boat and alert the Coast Guard to the incident, Marrow said.
That’s when fire crews were sent over to try to put out the blaze in the main cabin of the vessel, McGrath said. However, it was difficult to get the water down into the cabin, so crews let the fire burn down to the water level, McGrath said.
Marrow said crews also didn’t want to put all the water into the boat, causing it to sink and release fuel into the ocean.
The owner of the boat and a towing vessel were expected to return to the scene at 1 p.m. Wednesday to tow the damaged boat to shore, Marrow said.
No one was injured in the fire, McGrath said.