4 people, dog rescued after boat explodes near St. Simons Island Sound

Vessel explodes near St. Simons Island Sound. (U.S. Coast Guard)

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — Four people are reportedly hurt after a boat explodes Thursday near the St. Simons Island Sound.

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued four people and a dog after a 58-foot fishing vessel Predator caught fire and exploded.

Coast Guard officials said a mayday call was received just before 4 a.m., saying the boat caught fire and crew was abandoning ship.

Frank Owens of City Market Seafood said the owners of the boat are Robert and Charles Long. He said they supply seafood for his retail seafood shop.

The Longs were aboard the boat with two crewmen and their dog Chopper Thursday morning when smoke entered the pilot house, according to Owens. They all jumped off, including the dog, Chopper, he said.

Owens said they didn’t know how long they were in the water before the Coast Guard rescued them.

The crew members and the dog were rescued just before 4:30 a.m. by the Coast Guard.

Owens said the Longs think a wiring problem with the generator caused the fire.

The Coast Guard said that the crew reported minor injuries.

The cause of the fire is in currently under investigation.

An urgent marine broadcast is being issued, warning other mariners of debris and hazards in the area, according to the Coast Guard.