Chris Thornton: Boat captain, passenger rescued after their boat caught fire off of Martin County

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. - Two boaters received a scare Wednesday after their boat caught fire off of the Martin County shoreline.

The Martin County Sheriff's Office and U-S Coast Guard escorted the 48-foot vessel back into the St. Lucie Inlet.

The boaters were on their way from Volusia County to the Keys for next week's lobster mini season, when they ran into problems off of Sailfish Point.

"The engine room hatch is in the salon of the vessel and the flames were shooting up out of the hatch so we got our fire extinguishers and put it out but apparently that wasn't enough," said boat captain Chris Thornton.

Martin County Sheriff's Office Marine units took firefighters about 500 yards offshore to get to the boat.

The two men on the boat say it was fortunate that they were so close to the coastline so they could be rescued.

Investigators are looking into whether an exhaust leak was the problem.

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