Boat burns, sinks off Ocean City after all aboard rescued


A 52-foot recreational fishing boat north of Ocean Shores caught fire and sank Thursday afternoon, but all three people aboard were rescued by the crew of another boat in the area, the Coast Guard reported.

The fire was aboard the Miss Kelly and the passing vessel Peer Pressure assisted in the rescue, the Coast Guard said.

Those rescued included a husband and wife from Oregon, Thomas and Theresa Nisbet, and their daughter. Their last port of call had been Ilwaco. No injuries were reported, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Nathan Bradshaw.

The Guard dispatched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and 47-foot motor lifeboat crew to the scene, but the fire could not be extinguished. The boat sank about 4:30 p.m. directly west of Ocean City with about 600 gallons of diesel fuel on board.

The Coast Guard credited the Peer Pressure with remaining on hand to assist as the Coast Guard arrived.

The Coast Guard Cutter Henry Blake based in Everett also was diverted to assist.

The three people rescued were transported to Coast Guard Station Grays Harbor in Westport.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has been asked to assess potential pollution headed to shore.

A Coast Guard news release said three fuel tanks remain floating on the surface, and a light sheen is visible on the surface where the boat sank, but that is expected to dissipate.

Bradshaw said the Coast Guard did know what caused the fire, and noted that there likely won’t be an investigation or salvage attempts since the boat is now probably several thousand feet under the ocean.

“Right now the owner doesn’t know what happened,” he said. “They just all of a sudden reported flames and evacuated.”