NEWBURYPORT — A fishing boat caught fire while it offloaded its catch of one tuna today.
“Firefighters dealt with a very stubborn and smoky fishing boat fire at the city commercial fish pier today,” the fire department said in a statement.
A 42-foot boat called “Hit List” had a single Atlantic bluefin tuna on board and was waiting to offload when it suddenly caught fire, said fire Chief Christopher LeClaire.
The captain and mate aboard the vessel escaped and were uninjured, although the dead fish was thought to have been lost in the blaze, he added.
The incident happened shortly before 6 p.m., and Deputy Fire Chief Stephen Bradbury was in command of the scene.
The vessel was deemed a total loss and was floundering as the tide went out this evening.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Newburyport Fire Department and Newburyport Harbormaster.
Amesbury, Salisbury and Newbury fire departments along with the Seacoast Chief’s Air Trailer out of Rye Fire assisted at the scene.
Seabrook and Merrimac fire departments covered city stations, and the Newburyport Harbor Patrol, the U.S. Coast Guard, and Newburyport police were also on hand to help.