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Long IslandSuffolk

2 jump into Great Neck Creek to flee boat fire, Coast Guard says

A Coast Guard boat sits near a flaming

A Coast Guard boat sits near a flaming private craft Saturday, April 30, 2016, after the boat burst into flames near the mouth of Great Neck Creek in Copiague. Photo Credit: John Milano III

Two people jumped off a boat that became engulfed in flames in a Copiague creek Saturday morning, a Coast Guard official said.

The 26-foot power vessel caught fire about 10:30 a.m. near the mouth of Great Neck Creek, said Chief Petty Officer Frank St. Pierre, of Coast Guard sector Long Island Sound.

One person swam ashore, and a good Samaritan in a nearby boat picked up the other, St. Pierre said, adding that neither required medical attention.

Suffolk County police said the flaming boat drifted north against docks and stopped against a Dolphin Lane property.

Coast Guard personnel in an auxiliary vessel grabbed the burning boat’s anchor line and pulled it away from nearby docks and houses, St. Pierre said.

“The whole boat, from the cabin back, was blazing,” said Andy Dirmeir, an employee at C & D Marine Service in Copiague who said he saw the fire from a nearby boat.

Dirmeir said it appeared the people on board abandoned the vessel as it entered the creek from Great South Bay.

“They were cold, wet,” he said. “They were shivering, freezing. They were, naturally, shaken up.”

Suffolk police Marine Bureau officers and firefighters from several departments extinguished the blaze, police said.

The docks sustained minor damage, police said.

A member of the Copiague Fire Department said he had no information on what caused the boat to catch fire.

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