Lifestyle & Human Interest

Good Samaritan Beats Coast Guard to Rescue Fisherman After His Boat Erupts in Flames


It’s difficult to watch your livelihood destroyed — to see years of time, money and effort go up in smoke and feel powerless.

That’s the experience one fisherman had in Manzanita, Oregon, over the weekend after setting out on a commercial fishing boat that he’d reportedly had for decades.

At about 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, a call for help went out, reporting that a 42-foot boat had caught fire two miles west of Manzanita Beach, according to Fox News.

As the U.S. Coast Guard set out to respond, a boater in the area saw the disaster and risked his own safety drawing up to the burning boat and saving the sole occupant, the fisherman, before flames consumed the ship.

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“This morning, #USCG crews responded to a 42-foot commercial fishing vessel on fire off the coast of Manzanita Beach, #Oregon,” the USCG Pacific Northwest tweeted. “The 1 person on board was rescued from the water by a Good Samaritan. Their current condition is unknown.”

“The initial distress call to the #USCG came in at 6:30 a.m.,” the USCG Pacific Northwest later shared in an update. “The fire continues to burn. The #USCG response crew from Tillamook remains on scene to enforce a 1000-yard safety zone around the boat.”

By 1:30 p.m., the boat had burned down to the waterline and was drifting about a mile off Nehalem Bay State Park, according to KATU-TV.

The final update from the Coast Guard assured followers that the fisherman was fine despite the loss of his boat.

“The person rescued was transferred to the #USCG crew and brought to shore with no medical concerns,” the Coast Guard tweeted. “The vessel is still on fire approximately 2 miles west of Manzanita Beach.”

A fellow commercial fisherman from the area expressed his sympathy over the situation and confirmed this was a danger of the trade.

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“I talked to the guy just last night,” the fisherman said, according to KCPQ-TV. “He got off the boat before it went up really bad. He’s sitting over there in that little green boat, just to the right.

“But yeah, that troller … there’s no stopping that fire. It’s going down. It’s a sad deal watching your boat go down. I guess he’s owned that thing for like 30 years.

“Yup, bad deal. It’s one of the many things that could go wrong out here.”

It wasn’t clear how the fire started, Fox News reported. No additional information was immediately available.

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