A commercial fisherman by trade, Mark Lofstad recalled keeping calm as the stern trawler he was captaining caught fire.
"I've done this my whole life," said Lofstad, the captain of Tradition, a fishing boat out of Shinnecock. Tradition, adrift in the Atlantic Ocean after a Thursday morning engine fire, was towed safely back to pier by 7:30 a.m. Saturday, according to Lofstad and U.S. Coast Guard officials. "I dealt with everything as it came."
The commercial fishing boat had been disabled after a fire in the engine room cut its electricity, Lofstad said. In the waters nearly 69 miles south of the Shinnecock Inlet, the boat was returned to shore more than 30 hours after an initial distress call was placed.