All five people on board escaped the fire unharmed. Photo: Mike Damas

Fellow Boaters Rescue Five from Burning Sportfisher

A beautiful Saturday afternoon on the Bay turned serious very quickly for the five people on board a 45-foot fishing boat, when a fire broke out in the engine compartment.

The 1978 Chris-Craft Sportfish was in the open Bay between Horseshoe Point on the western shore and Bloody Point on the Eastern Shore. Good Samaritans on another boat took everyone on board onto their boat before emergency responders got there.

The Anne Arundel County Fire Department got the call around 3:30 p.m. Saturday, responding along with the Tilghman Island Volunteer Fire Department, North Beach Volunteer Fire Department, Maryland Natural Resources Police, and the Coast Guard.

Emergency crews on scene between Horseshoe and Bloody points. Photo: Mike Damas

The big risk was the 300 gallons of fuel the vessel was carrying, according to Anne Arundel County Fire. Firefighters knocked down the fire by boat and vented to prevent a flash fire from the fuel. Then, they boarded the vessel to fully extinguish the fire and dewater the boat. No one was hurt in the process, and the Coast Guard took over the salvage plans from there.

In all, took 15 firefighters half an hour to get the fire under control, and damage to the boat is estimated at $40,000. It’s still not clear exactly what caused the engine compartment to catch fire.

-Meg Walburn Viviano