Sailboat fire damages Dinner Key spoil island
A derelict 38 foot Catamaran sailboat was engulfed in flames shooting up 30 feet in the air when Atlantis Marine Towing arrived on scene Friday, October 21, at 4:30 am, saving the area from further damage.
"I received a phone call from Robert 'Tattoo”Leslie' (who can been seen daily around the Grove walking his dog and pushing his cooler cart), who was anchored close to the boat on fire. He frantically reported to me he was nervous that the fire would spread to his vessel," said Erica Korpela, crew for Atlantis.
After assessing there was no person(s) in the water or medical assistance was needed, Coast Guard Miami and City of Miami Fire Boat were immediately contacted by Atlantis crew and given the position and status of the boat fire.
“We immediately sprayed on the vessel and surrounding trees with water from our a fire fighting equipment, with the intentions of dousing and controlling the flames burning the surround trees on the island. At this point, the vessel is a total loss and was not our main concern in saving vessel property, preventing the island from burning was our priority," said Capt. Burt Korpela.
Approximately 30 minutes later, City of Miami Fire Boat arrived and provided additional equipment to extinguish the boat fire that was continually fed by an on-board fuel source.
This is the boat propped up against the island at high tide, the next morning.
“I have played on this island for years, attended Shake A Leg Miami Summer Camp on the island and performed several island clean-ups. Loosing this island would have been devastating for many campers, locals and our community," said Hans Korpela (12), son of Capt. Burt & Erica Korpela.
Photos by Erica Korpela
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