NEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard rescued three people from a vessel on fire near Panama City Wednesday.
The boat was about 35 miles offshore when the Coast Guard was dispatched at about 1:30 p.m., according to a press release from the Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard sent out a 45-foot rescue boat, an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter out of New Orleans and an HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft out of Mobile.
Good Samaritan vessels assisted the Coast Guard crews.
The Good Samaritan vessel “First Light” was able to recover all three passengers from a life raft near a vessel on fire.
The three passengers were transferred to the Coast Guard boat crew and transported to the station in stable condition. Emergency medical services treated one passenger for smoke inhalation.
“The Coast Guard urges mariners to keep sufficient, up-to-date, life-saving equipment on board at all times,” said Petty Officer First Class Jason Bowen of the Coast Guard District Eight Command Center. “A registered EPIRB (emergency position-indicating radio beacon) and life raft were critical in saving the lives of these individuals.”
District watchstanders issued a safety marine information broadcast due to the vessel still being on fire.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.