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blaze destroys local Fishing Fleet
waving deputy hinders owner from saving boat
Boat Captain Scott Young was alerted in the early morning hours of
Tuesday, Nov. 3rd, that there was a fire at the Hillsboro Inlet
Marina, home of Pompanos Fishing Fleet. He rushed to the marina
where he found the boat next to his Reel Bandit engulfed
raced to untie his boat, and drive it away from the fire.
warning a female BSO deputy yelled to him to get off the boat.
my boat, Young shouted back. I need to save it.
the boat! repeated the deputy, brandishing a .45 caliber
pistol, and pointing it at Young.
got off the boat and back onto the dock. Young said he was convinced
the deputy would have shot him if he continued in his effort to save
Reel Bandit eventually caught fire and burned to the waterline.
could have saved it, Young said. BSO acted like they
just wanted it to burn. I dont understand it.
blaze appeared to have started on the Intoxication III, a boat owned
by Fishbolo TM, LLC, and docked to the right side of Youngs
boat. John Murray, a principal in the Fishbolo company, told
reporters the fire probably started in a cabin.
hundreds of gallons of fuel on board, the Intoxication III burned
hot, and soon the fire spread to Youngs Reel Bandit,
and the intense heat soon ignited a fire on Capt. Ed Marshburns
Sticks & Stones, the pink boat on the left of the
this time firefighters were on the scene, but when they connected a
fire hose to the fire hydrant, nothing happened. When they finally
got water trained on the fire, it was too late for the Sticks &
Stones. Its interior burned, but fortunately for other boats
downwind, the fuel did not ignite. Marshburns insurance
adjuster totaled the boat.
upwind, Capt. Jon Whites Southern Girl roasted in
the intense heat from the Intoxication III inferno. The Southern Girl
was still afloat, but the heat damage was so extensive that
Whites insurance adjuster totaled the boat.
downwind, Capt. Brad Hunts Rebound baked in the
heat from the fire, but didnt catch fire. His new tower
sustained substantial heat damage.
three charter boats emerged relatively unscathed, except for damage
mostly from ash and smoke. Capt. Bill Gampers Naughty
Girl, Capt. John Casellis Ringmaster, and
Capt. Tom Oberrenders Texas Wireline remain
operational. Gamper said that the stench from the fire, along with
portions of the parking lot being blocked off, are deterring people
from chartering boats.
drift boats, the Fish City Pride, which was away from
the Marina for maintenance, and the Helen S were not
directly affected by the fire. An office worker said that people seem
to have heard about the fire, and the drift boats are not getting
a salvage company, operates a soft sided vessel on the east side of
the heat-damaged Southern Girl. Capt. Tim, who works for SeaTow, said
the Southern Girl and the easterly wind protected their boat, which
will be examining the remains of the Intoxication III to determine
the cause of the fire, because Mr. Murray was claiming the fire was
the result of arson, and pointed the finger at the other boat captains.
witness, fishing on park property east of the marina, called 911 to
report the fire. He said he didnt see anyone at the marina when
the fire started. One thing investigators may be looking at is the
electrical work done on the Intoxication on Monday, just before the
fire. Fire investigators also seized the electrical pedestal serving
the Intoxication. There was some evidence of overheating, and the
pedestal may have had some role in the fire.
marina is leased from the City of Pompano Beach by Hillsboro Inlet
Fishing Center, Inc., which in turn licenses slips and dock space to
the occupants, except for the Intoxication, which has been in an
eviction procedure since August 2014 for, among other reasons,
failing to pay dockage fees.
Ross Shulmister, spokesman for the Fishing Center, said this is a
major disaster for all involved parties. Charter captains are
out of business and cant pay their dockage, there has to be
substantial maintenance done by the City, and many customers will not
patronize the Fishing Fleet until the word gets out that things are
back to normal, and that is likely to be a month or so. The
season is upon us, and that is a terrible time for this
to happen. Several boat captains are totally out of business.
Insurance will only go so far, and it will take many months, if not
years, to recover from the blaze aboard the Intoxication III.
least, he said, no one was injured, a few of the charter
boats are still taking charters, and the drift boats are still in business.