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Two fishermen and dog pulled from burning boat before it sinks

Flaming boat sinks after fishermen and dog pulled to safety off Crystal Cove

Two fishermen and a dog were rescued Wednesday from a boat that caught fire and burned to the waterline before sinking into the ocean off Crystal Cove.

The men and the dog were uninjured in the late-afternoon blaze but the boat, the Lady Leslie, was a complete loss, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Harbor Patrol. Neither passenger was identified.

The fire broke out at about 3:30 p.m. and eventually engulfed the boat, sending up a thick plume of black smoke that could be seen from the shore, according to Sgt. Fritz Von Rettberg.

A passing civilian vessel picked up the two fishermen and the dog, and the Harbor Patrol dispatched three fire boats to put out the flames, Von Rettberg said.

The boat, however, was a "complete lose," the sheriff's department said in a tweet.

Von Rettberg said the 24-foot powerboat ended up sinking in 600 to 700 feet of water off the coast.

Von Rettberg did not immediately know what started the fire.

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