TAHOE CITY (CBS13) — A person was rescued from a boat fire on Lake Tahoe Monday afternoon, officials said.
The U.S. Coast Guard Lake Tahoe station said the vessel was on fire with one person on board near Tahoe City around 4:35 p.m. Monday.
“I have not seen anything like that! That was a first for me. When we first got there the fire was pretty small,” Petty Officer Second Class Timothy Mines, U.S. Coast Guard South Lake Tahoe, said. “When we’re pulling up to the vessel, the person was jumping off and onto a Good Samaritan’s boat.”
Crews rescued the man from a Good Samaritan’s boat that was in the area. Marine 24 with the Tahoe-Douglas Fire District helped put out the fire.
Hunter Waldron told CBS13 he and his friend saw the fire from the boat ramp and spoke to the man as he was salvaging his boat this morning.
“He said it started smoking and then before he knew it was on fire. He dove off and some people pulled up saying, ‘Jump, jump!’ you know,” Waldron said.
Mines said the Good Samaritan and the man who was saved were as calm as the Tahoe water, even though the roaring flames could’ve rattled anyone.
“The Good Samaritan was very grateful. He helped us get the person onto our vessel so we could assess for medical emergencies or injuries,” Mines said. “And the guy that was inside of the boat was actually really, really calm and he did a great job.”
Aside from his boat losing his boat, the U.S. Coast Guard says the man walked away unscathed from this inferno. The Coast Guard said he was transferred to local emergency medical services with no reported injuries.
“They just pulled it out this morning and it was totally fully crisped up, burnt like a marshmallow,” Waldron said.
The boat may be lost but, thankfully, the man’s life wasn’t. It’s all because of some quick thinking… and selfless act in a sea of chaos.
“It’s a really tight-knit community. It seems like everyone is always willing to help each other,” Mines said.
“Boaters help other boaters. Whoever helped him did what anybody else would do I would think,” Waldron said. “You know, if I was there, I’d be like, ‘Hey that boat’s on fire we should probably see if they’re okay.’ Where I come from you help each other.”
The vessel remained partially submerged after the incident. It’s unclear what caused the fire.