Witness recalls Seward Harbor boat fire that killed one man

Published: Feb. 16, 2019 at 4:32 PM AKST
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One person is dead after a boat fire broke out in Seward Harbor around 11:30 Saturday morning.

A local boat captain, Bixler McClure of Seward Ocean Excursions, was prepping his boat when he said he saw dark smoke rising from another boat in the harbor.

He said he quickly un-docked and motored over to the scene, where he saw the 30-foot sailboat from Anchorage, called the Perspective, completely engulfed in flames.

McClure called the police and waited for help to arrive. He had taken out his phone and started shooting video of the fire, when the ship’s mast toppled over, coming close to hitting people on the dock who were attempting to extinguish the blaze.

"I was just going to see if there was anything I could do to help, and when it kind of seemed out of control, I kind of got out of there,” McClure said. “Obviously, those guys on the dock are lucky, because the mast could definitely have taken them out."

Seward Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief Eddie Athey confirmed the deceased is a male, but the body has not been identified and the investigation is ongoing.