Three boat riders were safely rescued about a mile offshore from Miami Beach on Saturday after their 80-foot yacht caught fire and began to take on water, the Coast Guard said.
The three people aboard the vessel Bliss jumped into the water and were pulled to safety by the Coast Guard Cutter Sitkinak's small-boat crew. None of the three needed medical treatment, the Coast Guard said.
The plume of black smoke created by the fire was seen by hundreds of beachgoers in the vicinity of 41st Street and Collins Avenue, said Brian Priebe, 32, of Miami Beach.
“It was a lot of black smoke. It filled up the sky,” Priebe said. “Everybody was kind of looking at it. They were looking and wondering what it was. It looked like something big was on fire.”
When Coast Guard and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews approached the fire, they made sure no other people were aboard the vessel and extinguished the fire. The Bliss was left partially submerged and arrangements were being made to resurface the boat and tow it to shore.
From the beach, Priebe saw the smoke shortly before 10 a.m. Some time later, the dark smoke turned gray, then disappeared, he said.