A total of seven people were rescued in separate boating mishaps Friday, one in Redondo Beach and one in Venice, officials said.
Three people were rescued on Friday after a sailboat caught fire 11 miles off the coast of Redondo Beach, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Firefighters and the U.S. Coast Guard were arrived on the scene around 3:00 p.m. after receiving a mayday call.
There, they found the 44-foot sailboat engulfed in flames. The boat's engine caught fire and quickly spread, officials said.
Two people were pulled from blaze and one was found in the water, according to Petty Officer First Class Sondra Kneen with the Coast Guard. One of the victims sustained minor burn injuries.
Firefighters worked to extinguish the flames for over 45 minutes.
Skipper Jeff Drew first saw white smoke coming from the cabin. He came close to the flames after going down to get a better look.
“Then, boom, it just ignited right in front of me,” Drew described.
He then sent out a distress signal and he and his two friends went to the bow of the boat.
Passenger Richard Peck described seeing “dark dark billowing black smoke.”
“The boat was totally aflame and here we are on the bow of the boat in relative safely, and right in front of us there’s this tremendous fire on our own boat,” Peck said.
He eventually couldn’t take the heat and jumped into the ocean. “This vest saved my life,” Peck said, refiguring to the orange vest he was wearing.
Another passenger, Richard Schachter, stayed on the boat. “It was like a choice between burning to death or getting hypothermia,” Schachter said.
The trio were on their way to Catalina Island when the fire interrupted their plans.
About 5:20 p.m. Friday, four people were rescued after a 14-foot powerboat capsized near Privateer Street in Venice, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
All four victims, described as being in their 50s, were taken to a hospital and two were in critical condition, officials said.
Los Angeles County Fire Department lifeguards remained at the scene to remove the vessel from the surf line, officials said.
It is unknown how or why the boat capsized.