Ten boats destroyed off Mandeville Island in
By Laura Dudnick
August 22, 2007
U.S. Coast Guard officials were searching 10 vessels off Mandeville
Island east of Antioch that caught fire this morning for anybody
who might have been onboard one of the boats that went up in flames.
The man who owns the 10 charred boats, as well as two more boats
that escaped the flames, reportedly was on one of the boats when
it ignited and remained on the vessel while it burned, despite
attempts to rescue him, Coast Guard Lt. Anya Hunter said.
"(The owner didn't) want to leave his boat," Hunter
said. The man was eventually picked up by a friend and taken safely
to land. "We want to talk to him so we can figure out what
caused the fires," Hunter said.
Once the man was ashore, the Coast Guard was unable to battle
the flames due to lack of proper resources, Hunter said. The local
fire department did not respond to the blaze since the area was
out of the fire department's jurisdiction, according to Hunter.
The flames that engulfed 10 vessels have subsided, but not before
destroying the various types of boats, according to the U.S. Coast
The 10 ships ranging from houseboats, to tug boats, sailboats
and barges were tied closely together and were very near land
when they caught fire around 7:15 a.m., Hunter said.
A helicopter was used to obtain a better view of the flames,
and Hunter said Coast Guard officials reported that the majority
of the boats are completely burned.
The Coast Guard is also inspecting the area for damage, according
"Right now we're (also) looking to see if there's any damages
to the environment, primarily if there's any diesel fuel onboard
and if any of that is going to be leaking," Hunter added.
The estimated cost of damage was not immediately available.
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