Two rescued after boat catches fire and sinks off Cape Burney

Geraldton Guardian
VideoTwo men were rescued after their boat caught fire and sunl off Cape Burney. Video: Leigh Jones Seven West Media.

Two men made a lucky escape off the Geraldton coast this morning after their boat was engulfed in flame after experiencing engine problems.

The Geraldton locals were travelling west off Cape Burney on their vessel, Boys Toys, when at 9.20am the 7.3 metre fibreglass cabin cruiser caught fire.

Geraldton Volunteer Sea Rescue Group communications officer Ian Beard said the vessel burnt to the waterline before sinking to the bottom of the ocean.

Smoke rises from the cabin cruiser before it sunk off Cape Burney this morning.
Camera IconSmoke rises from the cabin cruiser before it sunk off Cape Burney this morning. Credit: Leigh Jones, Seven West Media Geraldton

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The men, aged in their early 30s, were unharmed when they were plucked out of the sea by a commercial octopus boat, who’s crew tried to put out the blaze.

GVSRG vice commander Jamie Jones said by the time sea rescue arrived at the scene, there was nothing they could do to save the vessel.

“The professional octopus boat tried fighting it (the fire),” he said.

“But it was unsafe so we told him to stop.”

Mr Jones said the men on board Boys Toys did the right thing leaving the vessel at the sign of danger.

“They did the right thing and decided it would be safer off the boat than on it,” he said.

“That’s probably why they’re still alive and not burnt.”

Mr James said sea rescue had only attended two or three boat fires in the past 30 years.

Mr Beard said the boat was likely a write-off, but the rescue of the two completely unharmed men had been the best outcome.

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