Coast Guard, Others Rescue Five After Boat Catches Fire

July 27--The U.S. Coast Guard helped rescue five people Friday after their boat caught fire.

According to a release from the Coast Guard's Eighth District external affairs office, the post in Mobile received a distress call in the vicinity of Petit Bois Island.

A helicopter crew from the Coast Guard air station in New Orleans responded, as did a 45-foot response boat from the Coast Guard station in Pascagoula.

All five passengers aboard the 40-foot Viking cabin cruiser Persuasion I abandoned ship and were floating in a life raft, the release said.

Two good Samaritan vessels, the Gloria May and the Kay Ann, helped the Coast Guard fight the boat fire and transfer the passengers onto the response boat.

The Persuasion I boaters were brought safely back to the Coast Guard station in Pascagoula.

According to the release, the vessel sank, but the life raft was recovered.

"This vessel was very prepared," Coast Guard Capt. Joseph Snowden said. "Not only were they able to escape to a life raft, but they were able to issue a mayday broadcast and follow it up with an automated distress call that included a GPS position allowing us to proceed directly to their precise location. We also received excellent support from two good Samaritans."

Copyright 2014 - The Sun Herald