A fisherman escaped uninjured Saturday morning when a 42-foot salmon troller caught fire off Oregon, according to the Coast Guard.

An initial distress call to the Coast Guard came at 6:30 a.m. June 18 and the Tillamook Bay Coast Guard station launched a response boat crew.

Upon arrival at the scene about two miles west of Manzanita Beach the Coast Guard crew found a Good Samaritan vessel had taken the owner-operator of the stricken boat onboard.

The unidentified fisherman transferred to the Coast Guard boat to return to shore, and worked with the Coast Guard and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality on a response plan to recover the vessel which burned to the waterline.

“The captain was very, very lucky that there was another boat on scene to assist him, otherwise he would’ve been in a lot of trouble very quickly,” said BM 1 Aaron Harris of the Tillamook Bay station told television station KGW. “More than likely if that other boat hadn’t been there, he would’ve been forced to enter the water and wait for us.”

Harris told the station that the fire reportedly started in the boat’s exhaust stack, and spread to wooden cabinets and the boat’s fiberglass structure despite the owner’s efforts with fire extingushers. It was fully engulfed in about five minutes.

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