UPDATED: Port aux Basques RCMP say the fire on the Jodie and Brothers II was an accident and foul play is not suspected.
© Brodie Thomas photo
The Jodie and Brothers II on fire and drifting south of Port aux Basques.
Sergeant Dale Foote spoke with the owner of the boat, Don Purchase, early this afternoon.
Foote said it appears there was an explosion as someone aboard the boat was attempting to light a propane heater.
Foote said once the boat was on fire, the owner decided to cut it loose and let it drift to protect his own stage and other nearby stages.
The Jodie and Brothers II caught fire around lunch today and drifted into rocks off Channel.
The wheelhouse has been consumed and the boat appears to be a total loss.
Fire Chief Jerry Musseau was on scene, but said he had not received any call to come down. The boat was too far offshore for firefighters to do anything.
The boat belonged to local fisher Don Purchase, who had been having trouble with it since early December.
It had previously sunk at the wharf on two separate occasions when sub-pumps failed.
In a previous interview after it first sank, Purchase told The Gulf News he did not have insurance on his boat.
In early January he took the Jodie and Brothers II to Burgeo in hopes of getting it lifted out of the water. Upon arrival, he was told the boatlift there was winterized and he could not find an operator willing to take the boat out the water.
Purchase then went to La Poile, where residents helped him make temporary repairs.