2 men suffer burns in boat fire off Key Biscayne

Marine patrol unit spots dark smoke, rescues 2 men


KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. – Two men suffered burns after a boat caught on fire on Saturday about four miles east of Key Biscayne, according to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue. 

David Coyle, a University of Georgia researcher on vacation, and others on the beach at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park said they saw the smoke.

A Miami Beach marine patrol unit found the two men in the water, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Erika Benitez said. Police took them to the park's No Name Harbor, where Miami-Dade Fire Rescue picked them up.

"Both patients sustained burn injuries to their lower extremities," Benitez said. 

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Capt. Vaughn Mulder said he also saw the smoke. The two men remained at Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center on Saturday afternoon.

Florida Fish and Wildlife authorities said they were investigating the fire, which they believed could have started with an explosion. Firefighters tried to save what was left of the boat, but it sunk. The men were lucky to be alive, authorities said. 

Benitez had a couple of reminders for boaters: Check the vessel's equipment on board and have an extinguisher on hand before going to sail. 

View photos by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, beachgoers 

DEVELOPING STORY: Initial reports from authorities identified rescuers as boaters and later as members of a Miami-Dade Police marine unit. FWC also said men suffered burns to their arms. MDFR clarified Miami Beach rescued the men and their injuries were to lower extremities. 


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