Fire forces evacuation of cruise boat off Florida

The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) (Aug. 2) — The Coast Guard, along with local partner agencies, responded to a disabled vessel that caught fire on the St. Johns River Saturday night in Jacksonville, south of the Fuller Warren Bridge.

Watchstanders in the Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville command center were notified of the incident at 7:58 p.m. The report stated the 98-foot-long cruise vessel Annabelle Lee experienced a fire and became disabled. No injuries were reported.

Coast Guard crews from Station Mayport responded alongside the Jacksonville Fire Rescue Department, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission and Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. One JFRD response boat crew embarked all the cruise ship passengers and took them to shore. The Coast Guard and another JFRD vessel are towing the disabled Annabelle Lee to its mooring.

By Professional Mariner Staff