GLOUCESTER — A Gloucester family had a frightening moment yesterday when a family boat ride turned into a rescue mission.
Five members of the Parisi family were evacuated from the 35-foot Amanda Marie around noontime after a fire — which Gloucester Fire officials preliminarily believe to be electrical in nature — erupted below deck.
“We were just out for a family boat ride, myself, my daughter and my grandchildren,” said Amanda Marie owner and operator Capt. Mike Parisi, who runs Amanda Marie Fishing Charters. “At one point, we started smelling something that smelled like smoke.”
City officials said all five family members evacuated without incident and there were no reported injuries.
The boat was on the ocean side of Ten Pound Island when the fire broke out. Fortunately, a gillnet boat, which Gloucester fire Chief Eric Smith said was the Native Son II, came alongside and took on the five family members.
The Coast Guard and Gloucester harbormaster Jim Caulkett responded to the scene, along with the city’s police boat, and alternately towed and pushed the boat into Gloucester Harbor with smoke still wafting from the pilot house.
They ultimately grounded the vessel on the small spit of Pavilion Beach at the very end of Stacy Boulevard. There, Gloucester firefighters boarded the Amanda Marie and extinguished the smoldering blaze.
Caulkett then pulled the boat into deeper waters and it was lashed to the side of another boat and towed to its berth at Three Lantern Marine at 3-5 Parker St. about 1:15 p.m. At the dock, Gloucester Fire Department personnel could be seen examining the area of the pilot house and below deck.
“At this point, it looks like an electrical fire in the nature of some kind of overload,” Smith said. “The damage appeared to be contained to electrical components and wiring.”