Friday, September 01, 2006

Bonnie Gale

Mom found the story of the boat fire online so thought I'd post it.

Crew escapes as gillnetter burns, sinks off Middle Point

Dan MacLennan, Courier-IslanderPublished: Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A Ladner-based gillnetter burned and sank off Middle Point Saturday evening but the crew managed to escape the flames, a Coast Guard official said Monday.

The Bonnie Gale, a 38-foot gillnetter built in Richmond in 1972, caught fire shortly before 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

"It sounds like an engine room fire," said Coast Guard cutter Point Race Capt. Geoff Sanders. "The Island Wild, the new Waywest Water Taxi was first on scene, and got the people off."

The Coast Guard responded first with its rigid-hull inflatable PR-1.

"We sent the Zodiac ahead to check for injuries and then we followed up with the Point Race and worked on the fire once we found out that the people were fine," Sanders said.

The tug Seymour Crown and crew was among the other vessels to offer assistance.

The fire was put out by roughly 7 p.m. and a line was attached to the smoldering hull. The Point Race crew tried to tow the vessel into shore near Middle Point, where a Campbell River Fire Department crew was standing by. Sanders was hoping to beach the boat so that any fuel could be recovered, but that was not to be.

"We managed to get the fire out, but the hull was badly damaged by the fire and something gave way and we just couldn't keep up with the water anymore so it went down," Sanders said.
The Bonnie Gale went under shortly after 8 p.m. in about 300 feet of water.

Sanders said there had been no reports of oil or fuel slicks in the area. It's possible most of the oil and fuel burned in the fire.

© Courier-Islander (Campbell River) 2006

I'm adding some more pictures of the fire to photobucket.

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