Deadline Miami

6 people rescued from burning 40-foot speedboat off Islamorada

KeysInfoNet

Black smoke creates a dark cloud over Florida Bay from the boat fire. Six people were rescued.
Black smoke creates a dark cloud over Florida Bay from the boat fire. Six people were rescued. U.S. Coast Guard

Six people were rescued from a burning speedboat Thursday afternoon about five miles off Lower Matecumbe Key in Florida Bay.

The boat, a 40-footer, was still "burning pretty intensely" late in the afternoon and the U.S. Coast Guard put a blockade around it.

"It's not a security zone, just a safety area so people don't go near it. They can still be on the water, just avoid it," said Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios from the Coast Guard's 7th District headquarters in Miami.

He said the call about the fire was received about 2 p.m. and by the time the Guard arrived, the six passengers had been rescued by a nearby boater. None of their names were immediately available, nor was the fire's cause.

It's doubtful the vessel was racing in the ongoing Key West World Championship superboat races because boats participating in that event are trucked down U.S. 1 rather than brought in on the water.

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