A fire has broken out on a large vessel with dozens on board in the Gulf of Mexico off Florida, local authorities reported.
About 50 passengers swam to the beach where they were treated by emergency crews.
Pasco County Sheriff's Office deputies are assisting Fire Rescue and the Coast Guard.
Port Richey Chief of Police Gerard DeCanio said the shuttle boat was close to shore when it had engine problems and the crew chose to turn back.
He says the shuttle boat was close to shore when it had engine problems and the crew chose to turn back.
Investigators said that at one point there were more than 40 people in the water after the boat had caught fire.
Port Richey Chief of Police Gerard DeCanio says that there were no life-threatening injuries, mostly reports of chest pain and smoke inhalation.
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A Coast Guard spokesman said investigators are interviewing the captain, crew and passengers, as well as making sure inspections and paperwork are up to date along with all required licenses. There were multiple people in the water.
When the fire sparked, the captain of the boat beached it about 100 feet from shore.
'I just started putting them anywhere I could fir them - my garage, my fishing room.
"We drag them to the shoreline and then there was neighbors that would be able to help them up out of the water, there was some seniors that were having some difficulty, there was a couple seniors that were face down in the water when we first arrived on scene", Officer Zimmerman said.
'We rescued probably 12 to 15 people that were out in the water'.
She said there had never been any issues with the boat, which was destroyed by the fast-moving fire.
NTSB investigators also concluded that back in 2004 the Express Shuttle II crew failed to activate a Carbon dioxide fire suppression system, and couldn't use fire pumps because the engine had already failed.