Boat Catches Fire and Sinks off Hillsboro Inlet (Video)

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Two men and a boy had to evacuate a sportfishing boat they were on when the vessel caught on fire and sank on Sunday morning.

The 46-door Sea Lion caught fire around 7:30 a.m. as it sailed off the Hillsboro Inlet.

An hour after the distress call was made, the boat sank as fire consumed it and pillars of black smoke filled the air.

The three passengers, whose names were not released, were not injured during the incident, and managed to board another nearby vessel as their boat sank.

Sea Tow, a Ft. Lauderdale-based boating service, was on the scene and was able to catch dramatic footage of the boat's blaze and the aftermath. Sea Tow posted the video and photos on their Facebook.

The Broward Sheriff's Office Marine Unit and Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue, as well as the U.S. Coast Guard was also on hand to help rescue the three passengers.

Captain John See of Sea Tow told the Sun-Sentinel that the vessel was all but unsalvageable by the time authorities arrived on the scene.

"They started shooting it with water," See said of the firefighters. "They weren't trying to save the boat. There was nothing left to save. They were trying to put out the fire to make sure it wasn't a hazard to other boaters that were out there. They had the flames pretty well under control after about 20 minutes. But by the time they got there, so much of the boat had burned down."

The Sea Lion's demise was a slow one, as the vessel took over an hour and a half to sink.

See says that Sea Tow would only bring the boat in had the fire been put out and the vessel didn't sink. Instead, they were forced to watch as the boat sank into about 650 feet of water in the Atlantic.



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