Good Samaritans help rescue shrimpers from boat fire


by Doug Miller / KHOU 11 News

Posted on April 12, 2013 at 11:16 AM

Updated Friday, Nov 8 at 11:41 AM

GALVESTON, Texas – A good Samaritan helped rescue three shrimpers from a fire on board their boat Friday off the east coast of Galveston, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The boat called Captain Hunter set out from Dickinson Friday morning. Captain Trey Branch said they had just reached the mouth of Galveston Bay when he saw smoke pouring out of the engine room. Flames quickly engulfed the vessel.

A fisherman came along just in time and rescued the three shrimpers from the burning boat.

The captain of the shrimp boat Angel Lady alerted the Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston at about 10 a.m. to the fire on the Captain Hunter, which was near buoy 11 off the south Galveston jetty.

A Coast Guard helicopter was originally called, but later stood down, officials said.

Responders put out the flames on the Captain Hunter, but there was not much left of it by then. The charred hull ran aground.

“I just lost everything I own,” Branch said.

Coast Guard officials said that the good Samaritans really made a difference in the rescue.

“Fire is one of the most dangerous things that can happen to a boat out on the water,” said Lt. Brian Sullivan, the command duty officer of Sector Houston-Galveston. “The fact that a good Samaritan put themselves in such a risky position to save lives is something we in the Coast Guard can definitely relate to.”

What’s left of the Captain Hunter now sits partially submerged on the eastern tip of the island, attracting attention from curious tourists. No injuries were reported.