Passengers rescued as boat sinks off Ocean City coast

Coast Guard says a "good Samaritan" saved people onboard the Sea Witch

September 02, 2013|By Justin George, The Baltimore Sun

A "good Samaritan" rescued multiple passengers onboard a 45-foot cabin cruiser that caught fire and sank off Ocean City over the weekend, the U.S. Coast Guard reported.

On Sunday, Coast Guard officials said, a boat named the Sea Witch caught fire and a nearby boat rescued the people onboard.

"All passengers were taken off the vessel and then the fire was extinguished and the boat sank as it was being prepped for tow back to Ocean City," Coast Guard Lt. Scott Williams said.

Williams did not know how many people were onboard the Sea Witch or the captain who came to the passengers' rescue, a person Williams referred to as a "good Samaritan." The Sea Witch sank near the entrance of the Ocean City inlet, he said.

The Salisbury Daily Times reported that the Sea Witch carried two people, who were rescued by a Salty Sons fishing charter boat based out of Ocean City. Its captain, Shane McGinnis, told the Daily Times that smoke was billowing all over the Sea Witch when he pulled his fishing boat up as close as he could and brought a man and woman from the burning vessel onboard. They were both wearing life jackets and unharmed.

Coast Guard officials did not know what caused the fire.

"The Coast Guard has made contact with the owner of the vessel, and he does plan to salvage and remove it from the area," Williams said. "He's waiting for favorable weather, current and tides to do so. Specifically the wind has been an issue."

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