HATTERAS, N.C. (WAVY) — Nine people are safely back on land after their fishing boat burned up Thursday afternoon off the coast of the Outer Banks.
A boat called the Twisted Tuna caught fire 18 miles southeast of Hatteras Inlet, according to Petty Officer Joshua Canup of the U.S. Coast Guard. A U.S. Coast Guard command center was alerted to the fire around 4:30 p.m. from a boat called Predator.
Another boat called Brother’s Pride picked up the nine people — six passengers and three crew members — who were aboard the burning boat. The Twisted Tuna had sunk by the time U.S. Coast Guard crews arrived.
However, Jimmy Temple will likely never be able to get the image of it sinking out of their minds.
“We could have got killed out here,” Temple told 10 On Your Side after he returned to his Chesapeake home Friday.
Temple was on the fishing charter Thursday, 11 miles offshore. Kollin Harris, his stepson, was on the upper deck when the boat became engulfed from the engine.
“We’re not going to die out here. That was my first thought,” said Harris, who quickly began to make sure everyone got life jackets on.
When nearby boats started heading their direction, Temple and Harris started having people go overboard. A move that proved vital.
“Right as the captain jumped off the boat, you heard this ‘pow!’ and something we think was glass, something like that, blew the back of the boat out,” Temple said. “And it was full on inferno now!”
The crew of Brother’s Pride took the boaters aboard and then to the Hatteras Village Marina.
“They all wrapped their hands around us and said a big prayer for everybody,” Temple said. “I thought that was great.”
He and the Coast Guard said nobody was injured.
He urges everyone to make sure they always look out for other boaters in need.
NOTE: On WAVY-TV and in a previous version of this article, Mr. Jimmy Temple identified the owner of the boat as NASCAR legend Bobby Allison. We have since received word through Bobby Allison’s spokesperson that it was 3 of his nephews who were on a boat, not owned by the family, who made the rescue. We regret the error.