July 10,  2000

By Petty Officer Keith Alholm

Release #080-00



KODIAK, Alaska - A Wasilla couple abandoned their 30-foot cabin cruiser after it caught fire Sunday afternoon in Kachemak Bay near Homer.


Karl and Patricia Borglum jumped into an inflatable boat when fire broke out in the Patricia B's engine compartment about 1:20 p.m. Sunday about four miles southeast of Homer.


The fishing vessel Blue Two witnessed the fire, reported it to the Coast Guard cutter Sedge at 1:23 p.m. and then picked up the Borglums from their raft.


The cutter Sedge recalled a small boat crew at 1:30 p.m. The Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel Quanah P got underway with two Sedge crewmembers at 1:50 p.m.


A second small boat from the Sedge got underway at 1:57 p.m. with rescue and assistance equipment.


They arrived on scene at 2:09 p.m. and worked to contain the fire.


After an hour, the fire onboard was brought under control and the vessel was beached on the eastern side of Peterson Bay.


The Sedge small boat crew overhauled the fire and then secured the vessel to the beach for later salvage by the owner.


Karl Borglum told Sedge crewmembers that flames exploded upwards when he opened the engine room hatch after he saw smoke coming from the compartment.


Karl Borglum said he did not have time to grab a personal floatation device before leaving the boat.


Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Kenai is investigating the accident.