Three Rescued From Burning Boat Near New Port Richey, Florida

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. (AP) -- Three people were rescued from a burning casino shuttle boat by an off-duty Coast Guard swimmer near this west-central Florida city on Sunday.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert Morgan drove his personal boat to the scene Sunday morning and removed the only three people on the shuttle boat before Coast Guard and Pasco County fire officials arrived, according to a news release.

One of the three was taken to a hospital and treated for smoke inhalation after they were brought ashore. Their names were not released.

The 75-foot shuttle boat belonged to the Sun Cruise Casino ship based in New Port Richey, about 25 miles north of Tampa. It caught fire in the Pithlachascotee Channel near one of the many small rivers in the area.

The shuttle boat burned to its waterline, though the Coast Guard was still investigating the fire's cause.