15 rescued, 3 missing after fishing boat catches fire off San Diego coast

HARBOR ISLAND (KUSI) – A Mexican fishing boat caught fire and burned 30 miles south of San Diego, and while 15 people were rescued by a U.S.- flagged vessel, three people remained missing Sunday.

Crew members onboard the Time Machine, a charter fishing boat out of San Diego’s Harbor Island, saw the Mexican boat on fire at about 9:35 p.m. Saturday, off the coast of Rosarito, Baja California, about 30 south of Point Loma.

The radioed the U.S. Coast Guard to report they were rescuing multiple people in the water, according to the Coast Guard Station San Diego.

They launched Cutter Haddock, a 45-foot response boat, and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter to assist the charter fishing boat, officials said.

The Mexican Navy also deployed two boats to assist. The nearest Mexican Navy port is at Ensenada, about 45 miles further southeast.

The crew aboard Time Machine pulled 15 people from the water, including two who needed urgent medical attention, according to the Coast Guard. The survivors reported three people were still missing.

Two victims needed urgent medical care and were taken by helicopter to San Diego, then transferred by ambulance to hospitals. The remaining 13 survivors were taken by boat to Ensenada.

Mexican officials Sunday led the search effort for the three still- missing people Sunday, with U.S. Coast Guard assistance.

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