A boat fire in Phinney Bay Friday afternoon led to the vessel sinking, according to Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Ken Dickinson. The lone operator of the boat was taken to Harrison Hospital for evaluation and was released that evening.
The 55-year-old Bremerton man lived aboard the vessel with his wife, who was not aboard at the time of the fire, Dickinson said. The man was in the process of leaving the Bremerton Yacht Club marina aboard his 51-foot-yacht when he smelled smoke in the cabin. After investigating, the man found a fire in the engine compartment.
Noticing that the fire was too large to contain, he got the vessel as far away from the marina as possible and dropped his anchor to keep it from drifting back into the marina, likely saving other boats and people from damage or injury, Dickinson said.
The operator was able to put his two dogs into life jackets and placed them on paddleboards in the water, before jumping in the water himself. According to Dickinson, the man was in the water for about 15 minutes before he and his dogs were rescued by others in the marina.
Firefighters responded to the scene and attempted to extinguish the flames but were unable to do so before the boat sank, Dickinson said.