3 rescued after fleeing burning boat

July 19, 2009 2:56:30 PM PDT
Three crew members who used a lifeboat to flee their burning vessel early Sunday were later pulled to safety by workers aboard a passing ship. The three, who were not identified or injured, were aboard the 80-foot Captain O J Riggs when its engine caught fire around 3:20 a.m. in waters 20 miles east of Barnegat Light.

One crew member contacted another boat, the Miss Peaches, whose crew relayed the call to the Coast Guard. A rescue helicopter from Air Station Atlantic City, a rescue boat from Coast Guard Station Manasquan and the Coast Guard Cutter Elm, based in Atlantic Beach, N.C., were sent to the scene.

Meanwhile, crew members aboard another boat, the A.L. Milliken, pulled the three crew members to safety. The Cutter Elm crew extinguished the fire, but the Captain O J Riggs Broke apart and sank.

The incident is under investigation.