JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Firefighters in Jacksonville put out a fire after two docked shrimp boats caught fire early Tuesday morning near Ocean Street. Both have sunk.
Crews worked to put out the blaze since before 4 a.m. and eventually put out flare-ups around 6:30 a.m.
The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department called for an investigator to find out the cause.
Some people near the boat were checked out for smoke inhalation but no one was taken to the hospital, firefighters told Action News Jax's Beth Rousseau.
The Triton II of St. Augustine and the Iris Marie were involved in the fire.
Units from Naval Station Mayport are assisting JFRD. The Coast Guard is also monitoring the boats to reduce pollution impacts with salvage crews.
Joe Floyd, the owner of the Iris Marie, told Action News Jax he just bought the boat a week ago.
“We hadn’t had time to do the repairs and fix up things better. You always think you have time. We didn’t have time,” Floyd said.
According to Floyd, the fire started on his boat and spread.
He described, “ The crew were the ones that were there. They cranked the little generator motor and wend upstairs.”
The shrimper said making ends meet would be difficult considering neither the Iris Marie nor the Triton is insured and it’s the middle of shrimping season.
For Floyd, the only silver lining was that no one was hurt.
“We could have been out in the ocean. Which for us, thank God we were here because if we weren’t here we probably wouldn’t have made it," Floyd said.
The Coast Guard put barriers around both boats to stop damaging affects on the environment.
They said divers had plugged holes where fuel could be leaking from the boats.