Auxiliary rescues passengers on Lake Wylie after boat catches fire

Thursday, September 13, 2012

ROCK HILL - Seventeen foot recreational vessel in flames on Lake Wylie, South Carolina. Photo courtesy of USCG Auxiliary.

ROCK HILL – During a routine safety patrol on Lake Wylie two members of the USCG Auxiliary observed a vessel on fire near Lake Club Marina, in Rock Hill, South Carolina. After fueling the boat and pulling away from the fuel dock, the engine backfired and black smoke started coming from the engine compartment.

Article by Brad Simpson, Auxiliary Public Affairs Officer

The Auxiliary vessel was on the scene less than a minute after the fire broke out and soon after arriving on the scene the vessel was fully engulfed in flames.   The Auxiliary crew observed seven passengers in the water. The Auxiliary boat crew deployed flotation devices into the water to assist the victims. Two of the adults in the water appeared to be non-swimmers so the crew proceeded to assist these passengers first.

Auxiliarist Fred Thompson stated, “Auxiliary crew member and Commodore George Jeandheur grabbed hold of the first man’s arm and held him alongside of the boat and maneuvered him toward the swim ladder on the stern of our vessel.  After retrieving him, Commodore Jeandheur assisted the other non-swimmer out of the water”.

The remainder of the passengers, all from Rock Hill, made it to safety on their own with assistance from by standers on the fuel dock.  Only the 7 year old child was wearing a life jacket.

After confirming that all passengers were safe on the dock, Auxiliarist Thompson and his crew proceeded to the burning vessel that had drifted into other boats tied up at slips along the fuel dock. Approaching the burning vessel from upwind, Commodore Jeandheur assisted in taking the burning boat in tow and pulling it away from the other vessels and the fuel dock. The Tega Cay fire boat then proceeded to put out the flames.

Fred Thompson was the Auxiliary Patrol Commander and was assisted by Auxiliary crew member and Commodore George Jeandheur with Marie Thompson standing radio watch on shore. The crews training, quick thinking and prompt response saved lives and prevented the additional loss of property.


Tags: , , ,



  1. Nick says:

    Nicely done guys! This is why you sign up, to help people and you have done just that. Not for pay or because it’s your job. But because you don’t know how someone couldn’t want to help on another.

  2. Dean Wallace says:

    Way to go flotilla 054-26-02. I commend you for your swift action to rescue and preserve life and property.

    Capt. Dean Wallace, CAP
    U.S. Air Force Auxiliary

Leave a Comment

We welcome your comments on postings at all Coast Guard sites/journals. These are sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard to provide a forum to talk about our work providing maritime safety, security and stewardship for the American people to secure the homeland, save lives and property, protect the environment, and promote economic prosperity.

The information provided is for public information only and is not a distress communication channel. People in an emergency and in need of Coast Guard assistance should use VHF-FM Channel 16 (156.8 MHz), dial 911, or call their nearest Coast Guard unit.

All comments submitted are moderated. The Coast Guard retains the discretion to determine which comments it will post and which it will not. We expect all contributors to be respectful. We will not post comments that contain personal attacks of any kind; refer to Coast Guard or other employees by name; contain offensive terms that target specific ethnic or racial groups, or contain vulgar language. We will also not post comments that are spam, are clearly off topic, or that promote services or products.

The U.S. Coast Guard disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from any comments posted on this page. This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

If you have specific questions regarding a U.S. Coast Guard program that involves details you do not wish to share publicly please contact the program point of contact listed at

The U.S. Coast Guard will not collect or retain Personally Identifiable Information unless you voluntarily provide it to us. To view the U.S. Coast Guards Privacy Policy, please visit:

Please note: Anonymous comments have been disabled for this journal. It is preferred that you use your real name when posting a comment. WE WILL POST THE NAME YOU ENTER WHEN YOU SUBMIT YOUR COMMENT. Also, you are welcome to use Open ID or other user technologies that may be available.