Four rescued from life raft after fishing boat fire

Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2002

KODIAK (AP) -- The Coast Guard rescued four people Tuesday from a life raft after their boat caught fire and an explosion occurred in Shelikof Strait.

The Victor, a 105-foot wooden fishing vessel out of Seattle, caught fire 18 miles east of Cape Kuliak, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The fire and subsequent explosion injured one person.

The Victor was going to Prince William Sound from Bristol Bay to tender salmon when the fire broke out. The vessel's alarm sounded and Mike Thompson Sr., the ship's master, went to the engine room where the explosion occurred. He suffered burns on his arms and hands.

Two crewmen launched the life raft. Michael Thompson Jr., who heard his father's cries for help from the engine room, helped his father from the vessel.

The Coast Guard in Kodiak answered the crew's distress call and sent a helicopter, which arrived about an hour later.

The crewmen were forced to swim for the rescue basket but all managed to get in and were lifted to safety.

Thompson was flown to Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center where he was being treated.



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