Fishing crew safe after boat fire

Fishing crew safe after boat fire off Nfld. Seven crew members from Bay de Verde, Newfoundland are back safe at home Sunday after a fire broke out on board their fishing boat almost 200 kilometres from St. John’s.

The MacKenzie’s Dream, a 65-foot crab boat, was fishing for shrimp on the Funk Island banks on Saturday afternoon. Fire broke out just a few minutes after the crew detected smoke from the wheelhouse.

“We had very little time,” captain Edwin Noonan told CTV’s St. John’s affiliate, NTV News. “As soon as we detected the smoke, the whole boat itself from the wheelhouse area went into flames, complete with all the electronics.”

With fire quickly engulfing the vessel, Noonan had just enough time to send a maysay signal before abandoning ship in favour of a lifeboat with his crew — made up of his wife, daughter, two sons, nephew and one other member.

“As I monitored the mayday call to St. John’s Coast Guard radio, I knew they were in trouble straight away,” said Capt. John Saunders of the Canadian Coast Guard.

Noonan and his crew drifted for at least two hours before the Coast Guard ship Sir Wilfred Grenfell reached them and brought them to shore this morning.

Noonan said if it wasn’t for the Coast Guard, “It would have been a hard day. And the fact we got the whole seven crew aboard the life craft — that was a very pleasing thing.”

The seven were treated on board the coast guard vessel for minor cuts and bruises and mild hypothermia, but are otherwise in good condition.

With a report from NTV News

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