BOAT FIRE: Three people pulled from water
Three people have been rescued from the water and taken to hospital after their 6m vessel caught fire off Townsville this morning.
Emergency services got the call of a vessel on fire about 6.30am in Cleveland Bay.
Officer in Charge of Townsville Water Police Matthew Pegg said reports suggest the boat was engulfed by flames quickly.
"Three people abandoned the 5.9m fibreglass vessel and were picked up by a passing vessel who saw the smoke and flames," Sgt Pegg said.
"The vessel has extensive damage … it looks to be burnt to the waterline and about to sink. It's fairly well burnt out.
"The three people were transported back to Townsville by the rescue vessel where they were met and assessed by Water Police and the Queensland Ambulance Service.
"They were in the water for about 15 minutes before being picked up by the rescue vessel."
Sgt Pegg said the vessel was an inboard powered boat and a mechanical fault may have been the cause of the blaze.
"Initial inquiries suggest the engine of the vessel was the origin of the fire," he said.
"Investigations are ongoing and the vessel hasn't been recovered at this stage."
Sgt Pegg said the dramatic incident served as a timely reminder to all boaties to ensure their watercraft were regularly looked after.
"People need to ensure their boats are well maintained and aren't taking risks with poor maintenance or other factors which may lead to situations like this.
"This vessel was a long way from help and those on-board were lucky another vessel saw what was going on and assisted them."
The three people on-board were transported to Townsville University Hospital in stable conditions with non life threatening injuries.
Originally published as BOAT FIRE: Three people pulled from water off Townsville