A nearby vessel rescued four people from a crew boat in the Gulf of Mexico around midnight Thursday (March 19) after the boat’s engine caught fire. No one was injured.
Coast Guard Lt. Lucas Mancini, based at the Morgan City Marine Safety Unit, said the 113-foot crewboat GIS Leonce was about 20 miles south of Port Fourchon and returning to shore when its engine caught fire. The cause of the fire is not yet known.
A nearby “Good Samaritan” vessel, the Nicki Candies, helped get the passengers off the boat and put out the fire, Mancini said.
The Coast Guard readied boats and aircraft for a search and rescue mission and sent a cutter vessel to assist.
The GIS Leonce, owned by Cut Off-based GIS Marine, was being towed back to shore Thursday by another GIS boat, guided by Coast Guard boats and the Nicki Candies. The Nicki Candies is owned by Otto Candies, a vessel operator based in Des Allemands.
The GIS Leonce is expected to arrive at Grand Isle Thursday evening. Inspectors will determine the cause of the fire once it docks.
Mancini noted engine fires are more common as commercial and recreational boating picks up in the spring and summer.
“We’re starting to get into that season where there’s a lot more boating activity,” Mancini said. “It could be the first of many engine fires.”