Seven escape boat fire off O.B.


Updated July 6

A good Samaritan vessel came to the aid of seven boaters Monday evening after they were forced to escape their burning boat in a dinghy.

A report of a burning vessel off Oak Bluffs was reported to the Coast Guard at about 5:30 pm Monday evening, according to Petty Officer Briana Carter. Station Woods Hole deployed a 45-foot motor lifeboat, but the fishing vessel Dog Days was able to come to the boaters’ aid ahead of the Coast Guard, and ahead of the Oak Bluffs and Hyannis fire departments, Carter said.

The Coast Guard’s 45-footer escorted the Dog Days — with the seven boaters aboard — back to shore, Carter said. No injuries were reported, and the cause of the fire isn’t yet known, Carter said. Carter described the vessel that burned as 38 feet in length, make unknown. 

“That was an impressive fire,” Oak Bluffs Fire Chief Nelson Wirtz said. “A lot of flames, and a lot of black, black smoke.”

Laura Grome, a Framingham nurse, was on the 37-foot Sea Ray Sundancer Where’s Albie in the vicinity of the burning boat. “I wish I was able to help them,” she said, but the Coast Guard had cordoned off the area.

She witnessed the boaters escape into a dinghy. “Thank God they had one,” she said. 

Chief Wirtz said the boat was eventually extinguished, and a TowBoat US salvage boat towed it to an Oak Bluffs beach. Chief Wirtz described the charred shell as too fragile to be towed any farther. 

Mark Brown of TowBoat US Falmouth was on the beach Tuesday morning awaiting a crane barge to haul the shell off the shoreline.

The boat’s partially burned transom shows a home port of Falmouth. 

Petty Officer Ryan Noel told the Times the boat was named Jinx.

Intern Nicolas Ruderman contributed to this story.
Updated with additional information.