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One dead after boat fire off Key West

By Associated Press
Published September 18, 2005

MIAMI - One man died Saturday after his speedboat caught fire off the Florida Keys in what Coast Guard officials suspect was a smuggling trip.

The fire started about 8 a.m. when the boat with two people on board was about 40 miles southeast of Key West in the Straits of Florida. A Coast Guard cutter called to the scene found extra fuel barrels on board.

Both men aboard the boat jumped into the water. Coast Guard crew members were able to rescue one of them, but they saw the other man sink and were not able to recover him.

The survivor suffered burns to his arms and face. He is being treated by Coast Guard medical personnel.

"We are saddened by any loss of life at sea," said Coast Guard Capt. Robert Hurst. "We are very thankful there weren't any migrants on board when this tragedy occurred. This could have been a much deadlier incident."

[Last modified September 18, 2005, 02:15:36]

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