A Miami Beach, Florida yacht fire forced three people overboard on Saturday, news sources indicate. The three boaters were not publicly identified, and the cause of the fire has not yet been determined. An investigation is ongoing. Luckily, no one sustained life-threatening injuries in the blaze. It is unclear whether negligence or a manufacturing or maintenance problem may have played a role.
Reports say the inferno occurred sometime Saturday morning aboard an 80-foot vessel known as Bliss. The yacht was sailing the waters near Miami Beach with three passengers aboard when a fire started. Sometime during the blaze, the vessel began to take on water and sink. With no other options left, the three boaters leapt from the side of the ship and into the Atlantic ocean. It is not clear whether they had life vests or other safety devices at their disposal.
People on nearby beaches spotted the smoke coming from the ship sometime later. “It was a lot of black smoke. It filled up the sky,” one witness told reporters. “Everybody was kind of looking at it. They were looking and wondering what it was. It looked like something big was on fire.”
The coast guard, accompanied by emergency fire rescue teams, rushed to the source of the smoke. Upon arriving at the scene, the rescue workers pulled the three boaters from the water. They then secured the scene and began to extinguish the fire. Reports say the boaters did not opt to receive medical attention, but may have been treated on the scene. News sources did not mention whether the three boaters had any idea how the fire started, nor did they mention whether the yacht was damaged beyond repair.
Bliss was not the only vessel involved in a disaster off the coast of Florida recently. Two boaters were forced to swim for their lives Sunday after their fishing vessel capsized in the waters of Key Biscayne, Florida, reports say. The two brothers were trapped in the water for nearly seven hours before they were rescued. Both men were taken to the Mercy Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Reports say the accident occurred sometime after 7:00 Sunday evening after the brothers traveled out onto the waters off Key Biscayne to go fishing. For reason not yet known, their vessel overturned; it is not clear whether weather or some sort of defect may have been at fault. Both men were forced into the water without life jackets when the vehicle capsized.
Reports say one of the brothers was unable to swim properly because of a history of back problems He latched to a cooler to stay afloat while the other brother attempted the three-mile swim to shore. Both men were in the water for seven hours. “Seven hours is a very long time to tread water,” a coastguard spokesperson said.
The brother who was able to swim eventually reached shore and reported the incident. A news chopper then located the other brother and rescue workers pulled him out of the water. Both brothers are expected to make a full recovery.