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3 missing, 15 pulled from water south of San Diego after fishing boat catches fire

3 missing, 15 pulled from water south of San Diego after fishing boat catches fire
A Coast Guard helicopter crew transfers two people to emergency medical personnel in San Diego. They were aboard a fishing boat that caught fire 28 miles south of Point Loma. (Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Patrick Kelley)

Three people were missing and 15 others were pulled from the water Saturday night after a Mexican fishing vessel caught fire 28 miles south of Point Loma in Mexican waters, Coast Guard officials said.

The crew of the Time Machine, a 42-foot fishing charter out of Harbor Island in San Diego, radioed the Coast Guard about 9:35 p.m. Saturday to report seeing a nearby fishing vessel on fire and several people in the water, said Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Patrick Kelley.

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The crew ended up pulling more than a dozen people from the ocean, including two who needed urgent medical attention, Kelley said. Survivors told authorities that three people who had been on the boat were missing.

A Coast Guard spokesman said the boat that caught on fire was described as a 25- to 30-foot fishing boat. The name of the boat wasn’t released.

In response, the Haddock, a Coast Guard cutter, and a San Diego-based MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew were sent to assist in the search-and-rescue effort. The Mexican Navy deployed two defender-class boats, Kelley said.

The Coast Guard sent the cutter Haddock and a San Diego-based MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew to assist in the rescue while the Mexican navy deployed two defender class boats to assist.

Later, two Navy helicopters and a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew also assisted in the search.

The two injured people were hoisted from the charter boat onto the helicopter and flown to San Diego, where they were transported to a local hospital for treatment.

Their condition was not released.

It was unclear if the fishing boat sank.

The last time the helicopter pilot saw the boat, it was still burning, Kelley said.

The remaining 13 survivors taken aboard the Time Machine were transferred to a Mexican Navy vessel and taken to Enseñada, he said.

4:15 p.m.: This article was updated with more information from the Coast Guard.

1:40 p.m.: This article was updated with new information from the Coast Guard.

This article was originally posted at 9:15 a.m.

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