Cooke Aquaculture boat engulfed in flames on Friday, August 31, 2018. Credit: Courtesy of Maine Department of Marine Resources

Two Canadian aquaculture workers were rescued Friday afternoon in Passamaquoddy Bay by a Maine Marine Patrol officer after their boat caught fire, according to the Maine Department of Marine Resources.

Brett Newman and Patrick Blair, both of Campobello, had been aboard a 40-foot boat supplying feed for Cooke Aquaculture sites in the bay when it caught fire, according to a news release issued Saturday morning by the department. The two men said later that they noticed smoke and then flames from the engine room and then got into the life raft of the lobster-style boat and started paddling.

About five minutes later, Marine Patrol Officer Brian Brodie spotted the raft while he was out on a routine patrol. They were about an eighth of a mile from shore near Todd Head in Eastport when he pulled them onto his vessel, according to the release. Neither man was injured and both were wearing a life jacket, the Department of Marine Resources reported. Brodie brought the men to a Cooke Aquaculture boat. It didn’t take long before the burning boat was engulfed in flames and then drifted in the flood tide past Dog Island and into the whirlpools between Deer Island Point and Dog Island. The U.S. Coast Guard is monitoring the boat, according to the department.

Cooke Aquaculture is based in Blacks Harbor, New Brunswick, and operates salmon farming operations in Atlantic Canada, Maine, Washington state, Chile and Scotland.

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