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Pic: Coast Guard rescues man in huge boat fire

A boat engulfed in flames. (U.S. Coast Guard/Released)
July 20, 2023

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued a man who was forced to jump into the Delaware Bay after a major fire threatened to consume his fishing boat on Tuesday.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay was contacted by a dispatcher in Cumberland County at 11 a.m. on Tuesday after a good Samaritan reported the boat fire.

Fox News reported that the man’s 42-foot sport fishing boat named the Done Deal caught fire close to Delaware Bay’s main shipping channel. The good Samaritan who reported the situation provided detailed updates to the Coast Guard as the fire persisted.

At the same time the fire was reported, the Coast Guard’s command center was alerted to the activation of the Done Deal’s emergency position indicating radio beacon near Delaware Bay.

In a public statement, the Coast Guard said a small crew from Station Fortesque, New Jersey, quickly went to the scene of the fire in a Coast Guard 29-foot response boat. After arriving on the scene, the Coast Guard was quickly able to locate and rescue the man, who had jumped from the boat into the bay due to the flames engulfing the entire boat.

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After the Coast Guard recovered the man, he was transported to Higbee’s Marina in Fortescue, New Jersey, where he was subsequently transferred to the care of emergency service personnel. Emergency services reported that the man’s only medical issue suffered from the incident was potential smoke inhalation.

According to the Coast Guard, boat crews from Little Creek Fire Company and Down Township Fire and Rescue arrived on the scene and extinguished the flames from the burning ship.

“It is important to highlight the teamwork involved in ensuring the safe recovery of the boater and extinguishing the fire,” Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Higgins, the search and rescue mission coordinator at Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay, said. “The efficient and fast communications from everyone involved, especially from the good Samaritan, were critical in saving this man’s life today.”