Coast Guard rescues crew after fishing boat explodes

USCG photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Luke Clayton

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – The U.S. Coast Guard rescued four people and a dog from vessel explosion early Thursday morning in the St. Simons Island Sound.

According to the Coast Guard, the 58-foot fishing boat Predator caught fire about 3:53 a.m. and the crew was abandoning ship.

"The command center in Brunswick contacted station Brunswick crew and launched a 45 foot response boat to the location. When they left the station and got in the channel they saw the fishing vessel explode," Petty Officer 1st Class Luke Clayton said. "They were able to hone in on the location immediately. They were able to recover the crew and their dog at about 4:25 a.m." 

EMS crews were on standby, ready to evaluate injuries to the crew members.

"We're concerned about smoke inhalation. But injuries were minor," said Clayton.

The Coast Guard is warning mariners of debris in the water from the explosion.

"For safety reason we put out an emergency bulletin to warn other mariners about the fire in the area. There could potentially be debris where the boat fire was. We haven't picked any debris out of the water. It's too early but there is a possibility there is debris in the area," Clayton said.