The only person aboard a sailboat that caught fire in Port Royal Sound over the weekend jumped overboard to await rescuers, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
The man called 911 at 10:52 p.m. Saturday after jumping off the 28-foot boat into the water, Lt. Brad Peifer said. He treaded water for 45 minutes until a Coast Guard boat picked him up about 200 yards from the burning vessel.
The man's name has not been released.
The cause of the fire is unknown, Peifer said.
The boat was engulfed in flames and eventually sank, Peifer said.
The man was not injured in the fire but did suffer several jellyfish stings, Peifer said.
The boat was about 500 yards from the Hilton Head Island shore near Skull Creek, Peifer said. It is not clear why he did not swim to shore.
TWO BOATERS INJURED
In another weekend boating mishap, two people were injured when two motorboats collided near Daufuskie Island at about 1:30 p.m. Sunday, according to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.
The boaters were traveling together off the northern coast of the island, one following the other, according to DNR 1st Sgt. Robbie Smith. When heavy rain set in, the boat in front slowed, and the back boat crashed into it, coming up on top of the bow, Smith said. All four occupants were knocked out of the boats.
The two passengers in the front boat were injured -- one with a suspected back injury and the other with cuts from the broken windshield glass, Smith said. They were taken to Hilton Head Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The driver of the back boat was charged with failure to keep a proper lookout, Smith said.
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