Burning pleasure yacht abandoned

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A Chatham (Mass.) Coast Guard crew rescued 11 people from a 44-foot yacht after it caught fire last Friday approximately three miles south of Wychmere Harbor, Mass.

Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England dispatched a Coast Guard Station Chatham 27-foot boat crew to assist the people aboard the Hyannis Port, Mass.-based yacht Bronze Monkey after receiving the report from a 911 operator around 11:35 p.m.

"When we arrived on scene we could see the boat was engulfed in smoke," said Petty Officer First Class Matthew Hussey, the Station Chatham boat coxswain. "As we got closer we could see flames and everyone on the bow."

All the life jackets and signaling devices were trapped in the cabin, which was engulfed in flames, said Hussey.

"It's good we got there when we did," Hussey said. "Some of the passengers couldn't swim and about two or three minutes after we pulled everyone off the boat it was fully engulfed in flames."

The Station Chatham crew transported the 11 people to Wychmere Harbor where they were met by EMS. No injuries were reported.

The vessel sank in approximately 22-feet of water causing a minor sheen and debris field. Harwich Fire Department crewmembers also responded.

The captain of the Bronze Monkey said the fire began in the engine room and believes it was caused by an electrical malfunction.

Click here for two photos of the burning hull.