Yarmouth County Fishermen Suddenly Become Firefighters

Posted on Thursday, August 31, 2017 12:33 PM

Two quick thinking fishermen and help from residents prevented a fire aboard a fishing boat in Yarmouth County from spreading to other vessels.

Stephen Bennett and his deckhand, Devin Durling were just returning to port in John's Cove around 2 o'clock Thursday morning, something they normally don't do.

He said they could see smoke coming over the breakwater wall.

"We quickly got in and we made a couple of phone calls, one to 911 and the other to my grandfather (Bennett's grandfather lives up the road from the wharf), we tied the boat up alongside one of the boats that was close the fire and we untied that boat and moved it ahead so it wouldn't be in the way then we tried to get over to the other boat and move that out of the way. That's when my grandfather showed up and he said let's just use the deck hose. So we jumped on the boat and backed our boat up right to his and we laid loose onto her with the deck hose and got the fire out. Then we went inside the boat and had a quick look and ripped off the deck hatch for the engine room and we sprayed water inside of there as well. That's pretty much when the fire department was there and they started to take over so we just stood out of the way and watched and left."

Yarmouth and Port Maitland fire departments responded.

He says despite the damage the fishing boat 'PT Cruiser' is still afloat but it will require "quite an overhaul."

Bennett says at one point the flames were so intense that the life raft aboard the burning boat ignited.

He says they also had to hose down a propane tank to keep it cool so it wouldn't explode.

Bennett says it appears the fire started in the engine room.

He says he and the others just did what anyone in the community would do, help a fellow fisherman.