Power boat catches fire, sinks in the Charleston Harbor

A 37-foot power boat's engine caught fire and ultimately sank in the Charleston Harbor on Thursday evening.

The four people on board were evacuated to safety with no injuries reported. The boat, however, was not so lucky. It sank near the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge.

There's video, shot by Ted Childress, of the boat billowing black smoke into the harbor. View it here.

Here's more details from a Coast Guard news release:

Federal and local agencies respond to boat fire in Charleston Harbor

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- A Coast Guard boatcrew from Station Charleston responded to a vessel fire aboard the Wild Blue Yonder, a 37-foot Sea Ray, in Charleston Harbor Thursday.

Coast Guard search-and-rescue coordinators at Sector Charleston received a radio distress call from the crew aboard the Wild Blue Yonder at approximately 5:19 p.m., stating they were on fire in the vicinity of the Ravenel Bridge with four people aboard and needed help.

The Coast Guard responded immediately by launching a rescue boatcrew from Station Charleston and contacting local fire fighting and law enforcement agencies for additional assistance.

A good Samaritan in the area witnessing the fire, transferred the four people to safety aboard their vessel.

Once the boatcrew from Station Charleston arrived on scene they established a 150-yard safety zone around the Wild Blue Yonder. Fire fighting boatcrews from North Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, S.C., and Sullivan's Island, S.C., arrived on scene and tried to put the fire out. Charleston Police Department and Charleston County Sheriffs office marine units were also on scene to assist with the fire and the safety zone.

At approximately 6:24 p.m., the Wild Blue Yonder sank one-quarter mile east of the Maritime Center. Coast Guard marine investigators are coordinating with local marine agencies to determine final disposition of the vessel.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. 

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