Cruise boat shuttle catches fire, 50 rescued from Gulf of Mexico waters

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There were about 50 people aboard the vessel, which ferries people to a casino boat about three miles offshore in the Port Richey canal, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

The boat was still ablaze hours after it caught fire, the fire department said.

One man shot video of the burning boat as it neared the shore.

Mark Falcone, a manager with the family-owned Tropical Breeze Casino also praised the work of his captain. It is located offshore because it can't legally operate close to land.

The Coast Guard got the call about the blaze around 4:20 p.m., local time, and launched all area boats to the scene, Petty Officer 1st Class Michael De Nyse told NPR.

At least 15 people are injured after a boat caught on fire, according to CNN.

The cause of death has not been released as of yet. The company said it might have a statement later Monday.

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Jason Zimmerman of Port Richey Police said: 'The boat was fully engulfed in flames and everybody was off the boat.

The 60-foot boat was headed to a Sun Cruz Casino boat, located three miles from the coast in global waters for legal gambling.

Once the fire is extinguished, officials will begin an investigation to determine the cause.

Residents ran out to assist the passengers, and so did nearby boaters, as the boat itself was completely consumed by flames.

"They were pulling clothes of their closest to bring out to us to put on to keep warm, said Shelia Mcaffee, who on board with her husband".

Officials had originally said none of the 15 injuries were life threatening.

Eight passengers were treated at the emergency room for chest pain and smoke inhalation and have been released.