The US Coast Guard rescued three people from a burning vessel five miles (eight kilometres) east of Port Angeles, Washington, on Tuesday, May 4.
At approximately 18:00 local time, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound received a call from a distressed mariner reporting a 48-foot (14-metre) vessel on fire offshore and east of Port Angeles near Sequim.
The three men aboard the vessel were reportedly unable to combat the fire and needed emergency assistance.
A coast guard Response Boat-Medium crew and an Air Station Port Angeles MH-65 rescue helicopter crew responded and were on scene at 18:15.
Two response boat crewmembers evacuated the three distressed mariners from the burning vessel before entering the engine room and attempting to extinguish the fire.
After using an extinguisher and water pump to suppress the fire, the coast guard crew placed the yacht in tow and began transiting toward Port Angeles for rendezvous with the local fire department. While en route, the fire re-flashed and the boat crew were forced to break tow as the flames engulfed the burning vessel.
The boat crew remained on scene to monitor and secure the area, given the potential hazard to local vessel traffic.
The yacht burned to the waterline and sank before the boat crew transported the three rescued mariners to Boat Haven Marina.
No fuel sheen was observed in the water by the coast guard upon departure from the scene of the sunken vessel.
Medical personnel examined one of the mariners for potential smoke inhalation. No further injuries were reported.
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