TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The Tuscaloosa Police Department, Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Service, and Tuscaloosa County EMA were called to Lake Tuscaloosa after four to five docked boats caught fire overnight at the Blue Heron Marina and a TPD marine police boat sunk while towing a ski boat.
A Tuscaloosa Police Department marine patrol officer responded to a call from a boater who noticed an unoccupied ski boat that had caught fire just after 7 a.m. Sunday. The boater said no flames were showing from the boat, but it was smoldering.
A TPD marine patrol officer responded, tying the smoldering hull of the ski boat to the TPD boat in order to tow it back to the marine patrol office. He heard a loud sound before the ski boat quickly began to sink, causing the patrol boat to capsize.
A boater who was fishing nearby assisted the officer by pulling him from the water. The officer suffered no injuries has been checked by medical personnel and is in good condition.
While investigating, officers discovered that eight to nine boats docked at the nearby Blue Heron Marina had burned during an overnight fire. Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue Service firefighters responded and were still working to determine the cause as of Sunday night.
Firefighters placed boons on the surface of the water from the marine to the opposite shore to contain any debris and chemicals.