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A Chaotic Boat Trip

By: Zerlina Tang

It all started with a friendly boat ride. But then, around 5:18 PM, a fire broke out on a boat with 5 people in their 60s. The fire was the cause of the death of two elderly women, and the other three were taken to the hospital due to burn injuries.

The fire sent up an enormous cloud of dark smoke that was visible from miles away. Daniel Quinn, a host of a restaurant that specializes in their crab dishes, described the sound of the explosion: “like someone landed on the roof”. “There was a big bang and I looked up, and there was this ginormous plume of black smoke.”

Thankfully, there was Long Beach Fire Department was not that far away. Jake Heflin, Long Beach Fire Captain, said that when the firefighters arrived, people around were trying to help extinguish the fire, and that the firefighters “knocked a good portion of the fire out.” Long Beach firefighters on land and in the sea were supported by Orange County Fire Authority colleagues in putting out the large fire, Heflin said. Fortunately, there were no injuries among the firemen. According to Heflin, the wreckage of the yacht was moved to an isolation port to minimize environmental hazards such as leaking gasoline. As he claimed, the probe into the deadly incident will include claims that the boat was either fueling or had just finished filling when it caught fire since fueling a boat can be hazardous if fumes are not dispersed before starting the engine.

Right now, the cause of that fire is under investigation since it is still undetermined. As for right now, the ruined boat is surrounded by booms, and officials are still deciding on the idea to hire a private salvage company to remove the broken boat from the water. However, hiring a private company is quite expensive, and it has less job security since it can be easily influenced by market fluctuations and financial constraints. However, this has proven to be a much more flexible option, and has higher quality work. Nonetheless, this has been quite disturbing news, and Heflin stated that firefighters who participated in this will be given therapy in cause of any trauma or fear from this event.

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