Boat catches fire in the Middle Keys

The flaming boat emits billowing smoke.
The flaming boat emits billowing smoke.

A boat caught fire in the Middle Keys early Thursday morning, sending smoke upward as far as the eyes could see.

It was reported about 8:30 a.m. and was on the oceanside between 20th Street and the Hyatt Place Faro Blanco Resort & Yacht Club. No one was aboard so there were no injuries.

It’s the second boat fire in Marathon in a week and a half. On June 5, the 49-foot Miss Budweiser went up in flames off Boot Key on the bayside, near the Seven Mile Bridge.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers Matt Rubenstein and Clayton Wagner and Capt. David Dipre responded to Thursday’s fire, along with crews from U.S. Coast Guard Station Marathon, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and Marathon Fire Rescue.

The Coast Guard “secured their pumps and began to douse the flames with water,” FWC Officer Bobby Dube said. The “FWC was able to approach the vessel’s bow, free the vessel from the mooring and move it to the seawall, where the Marathon Fire Department could more effectively extinguish the fire.”

Rubenstein is conducting the investigation to attempt to determine the vessel ownership and cause of the fire.

Larry Kahn: 305-440-3218