Shrimp Boat Burns During 'Blessing of the Fleet' off SC Coast

May 2, 2023
The captain suffered burns as he tried to quell the flames.

Simone Jasper

The Charlotte Observer


Fire decimated a boat during a celebration to kick off shrimping season along the South Carolina coast, photos show.

The boat caught fire during the “Blessing of the Fleet,” an annual event that includes a water parade to honor people who work in fishing and shrimping, according to online event descriptions.

A captain, the only person on the boat at the time, tried battling the blaze and beached the burning boat. He then jumped off the boat before firefighters rescued him near a dock, Matt Tidwell, battalion chief of the Mount Pleasant Police Department, told McClatchy News in a phone interview.

The man was taken to a hospital for fire-related injuries after the April 30 blaze. Crews said they responded at about 1 p.m. and pulled him from the mud near Bennett Street, in the Charleston area.

Photos and a video posted on social media show flames leaping as smoke billows from the ship.

As of May 1, the cause of the fire was unknown. The fire was extinguished, and the U.S. Coast Guard is tasked with recovering the sunken boat, Tidwell said.

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