Boat catches fire off coast of Nova Scotia; crew members evacuated

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia — A fishing trawler off the southwest coast of Nova Scotia caught fire Tuesday night, leading to the evacuation of most of the vessel’s 32 crew members.

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The rescue effort for the Atlantic Destiny was confirmed by the Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Halifax. The vessel was adrift about 120 miles south of Yarmouth, according to CTV.

The 141-foot vessel issued a mayday call off the eastern part of George’s Bank at 8 p.m. local time Tuesday, the network reported.

A fire was reported aboard the ship, and crew members were initially able to extinguish the blaze, CTV reported. However, the fire reignited.

Brian Owens, a spokesperson for the Joint Rescue Coordination Center, confirmed that crew members were taken to Yarmouth.

The owner of Atlantic Destiny, Ocean Choice International Fisheries of Newfoundland and Labrador, said in a statement that the company’s main focus was to reunite crew members with their families.

The ship was marooned in brutal weather conditions, with winds blowing in gusts up to 63 mph, CBC reported. The boat was also in seas that swelled up to 26 feet, according to the network.

Most of the crew members were evacuated, but several remained on the ship “to continue to assess the situation,” the Joint Rescue Coordination Center said.

The Atlantic Destiny is one of Ocean Choice’s six offshore fishing vessels.