Boat fire leads to rescue on San Joaquin River

Photo by Tony Kukulich

Multiple agencies coordinated an effort to rescue six occupants of a boat that caught fire in the San Joaquin River near Oakley, Friday, Oct. 11. The boaters, including five adults and one toddler, were rescued without injury.

A fire aboard a boat on the San Joaquin River led to the rescue of the boat’s six occupants, Friday afternoon, Oct. 11.

According to a deputy with the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff Marine Patrol Unit, crewmen working on a nearby dredger noticed smoke coming from the boat, a 44-foot cabin cruiser, and launched a dinghy to warn the occupants. Just before 1:30 p.m., a call was made to the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) station in Rio Vista, who responded to the location on the north shore of Jersey Island along with Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (ConFire) Fireboat 85.

All occupants, including five adults and a toddler, were taken off the boat without incident or injury. They were taken to the Driftwood Marina in Oakley by the Coast Guard.

The rescue and firefighting effort required the coordination of all resources on scene. As the USCG and ConFire crews managed the evacuation of the boaters, the Marine Patrol Unit ferried tools from an East Contra Costa Fire Protection District engine crew onshore to the ConFire firefighters on the boat. A tow boat arrived at approximately 4 p.m. to take the disabled vessel in for repairs.

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