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3 commercial fishing boats burn in Southeast Alaska marina

Terrible fire in Craig Alaska this weekend. Three commercial fishing boats lost. This not only impacts the livelihoods...

Posted by Capital City Fire Rescue on Sunday, May 21, 2017

The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating a fire that burned three commercial fishing boats at a Southeast Alaska marina early Sunday morning.

Fire was reported aboard the 57-foot Seaborn, 56-foot Pacific Lady and 49-foot Julia Kae at about 3:30 a.m. Sunday, the Coast Guard said in a statement.

The three boats — two of them steel-hulled seiners, the third fiberglass — were tied to each other at the North Cove harbor in Craig, Harbormaster Hans Hjort said Sunday.

People living on vessels in the harbor first alerted authorities of the fire, he said. Craig and Klawock volunteer firefighters worked to extinguish the flames.

The Julia Kae, one of three Craig fishing boats that burned early on the morning of Sunday, May 21, 2017, had to be towed to another slip to give better access to fight the fire. (Hans Hjort photo)

At one point, the Julia Kae had to be towed — still in flames — to another slip in order to give firefighters better access to it, Hjort said. The boats sustained varying levels of damage in the fire. No one was injured.

A Coast Guard marine safety unit based in Ketchikan traveled to the scene Sunday to monitor pollution in the harbor. Together, the three boats have a fuel capacity of 7,300 gallons.

Oil sheen in the water "appears to be minimal," but an oil-containment boom was placed around two of the vessels, the Coast Guard statement said.

The cause of the fire is being investigated, as is the extent of the damage to the three fishing boats.

"The fiberglass boat is burned down through its decks, to probably 12 inches above the waterline," Hjort said.

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