MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – U. S. Coast Guard officials responded to an early morning fire aboard a fishing vessel near Fort Morgan.
The crew was forced to abandon ship.
Coast Guard officials received a 911 call early this morning from Baldwin County EMS.
“They said that the fishing vessel Becky Lynn was on fire,” said Lieutenant Tim Williams of the USCG Sector Mobile. “When we heard about the fire, we issued an emergency marine information broadcast to all mariners in the area.”
Coast Guard crew members rushed to the scene, about two miles north of Fort Morgan.
They contacted the Bon Secour volunteer fire-rescue team on the way.
“They came out there with their fire-marine vessel, and they were able to put the fire out,” said Williams.
The Becky Lynn is a 67-foot shrimping boat. It docks at Bon Secour fisheries and was headed back to shore early Tuesday morning.
“And apparently, it had a galley fire that spread out of control,” said Williams.
Four crew members on board tried unsuccessfully to put the fire out .
“All four crew members ended up abandoning their ship,” said Williams.
As they escaped the flames, they set-off an emergency beacon radio.
“It’s a satellite beacon that indicates distress. we have satellites that continually pass over the atmosphere and are able to pick them up, help pinpoint a GPS position to help aid our search efforts,” said Williams.
Two passing vessels stopped to help and picked up the crew.
They took the waterlogged shrimpers to Fort Morgan.
“We always like to see people wearing their life jackets, they had life rings, which is probably the next best thing,” said Williams.
Becky Lynn remained at sea Tuesday morning, Coast Guard officials then turned its attention to monitoring any potential environmental problems that could happen.
“The vessel had about 7,500 gallons of diesel fuel on board. we don’t want 7,500 gallons of diesel fuel spilling into the Mobile river,” said Williams.
John Nelson with the Bon Secour fisheries said he and others were working on bringing the Becky Lynn back to shore this afternoon, with its hull intact.
Coast Guard officials want to remind boaters to wear your life-vests and boat safely this Fourth of July.
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