Two rescued after boat blaze

Last updated 13:58 05/03/2014
burning boat
Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter

FIRE ON THE WATER: Smoke pours from a burning boat off Pepin Island on Wednesday afternoon.

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Two people have been rescued after a boat caught fire off Pepin Island, Nelson yesterday afternoon.

An alert went out at 12.45pm and the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter did an aerial search, while the fishing boat Aukaha went to assist, said Constable Shane Ohlson.

The helicopter arrived to the scene of the fire as the  Nelson harbourmaster and coastguard were en route, finding the vessel well ablaze.

Two people who had escaped the flaming boat in a small inflatable dinghy were located nearby and indicated with arm gestures that they were uninjured.

The pair were brought in to Nelson by the coastguard.

Coastguard Vice President and duty officer Peter Kara said shortly after 2pm that the coastguard was still putting out the burning boat.

He said it had liaised with police to send a fire officer out to Cable Bay to assess the scene from shore, saying the fire was nevertheless contained.

"Obviously if [the boat] is safe enough to tow, we'll tow it back, but we'd rather wait and make that assessment."

He said the nature of the vessel was still not known, but estimated it's size at between 40 and 45ft.

Mr Kara confirmed there had been no injuries but said the man and woman saved were traumatised. They had a cat with them.

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