PORT ANGELES – Three people escaped serious injury, but the boat they were on burned to the water line.

Just before six last night, the Coast Guard received a report of a fire aboard a 48-foot power boat. It was burning in the Strait of Juan de Fuca about five miles east of Port Angeles. People on shore could see a large plume of smoke coming from the vessel.

The Coast Guard responded by sending one crew aboard a 45-foot response boat and an air crew aboard a helicopter from the PA station.

The Coast Guard boat crew transferred three people from the vessel, but was unable to put the fire out. Through the evening, crews monitored and secured a safety zone around the boat as the fire burned itself out. Coast Guard officials say they’ll work with a commercial salvage company to mitigate any effect on the environment and ensure removal of any hazards to navigation.