Two men were rescued Tuesday after escaping from a burning lobster boat near Crane Island off Vinalhaven, said Coast Guard officials.

The roughly 30-foot boat was in shallow water close to shore when it caught fire about 1 p.m., and the men got off safely, said Chief Operations Specialist Aaron Clendaniel.

“From what I understand, it went up pretty quickly,” Clendaniel said.

The Maine Marine Patrol and Vinalhaven Fire and Rescue responded to the fire. A Coast Guard vessel could not get close because the water was too shallow.

The pilothouse was destroyed by the fire, which was caused by mechanical problems, Clendaniel said. The boat was tied up on shore after the fire and is awaiting salvage. Clendaniel said there was little pollution from the fire because the gas engine carried no more than 20 gallons.

Someone on another fishing vessel reported the fire and the men’s location, Clendaniel said. The names of the boat and the lobstermen were not being released Tuesday night.

Staff Writer Noel K. Gallagher can be contacted at 791-6387 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @NoelinMaine

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