“Thank you Lord we are here, safe and sound” Man shares frightening moments escaping boat fire on Dauphin Island

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A man known as ‘Captain Snapper’ takes us through the frightening moments he and two others endured as they had to be rescued from their burning boat on Wednesday near Dauphin Island.

What started out as a fishermen trip ended in a disaster. As Captain Snapper and two other men were rescued from their burning boat. Now days later he can’t help but reflect on how lucky he was to make it out safely.

“You always leave the dock expecting the best but be able to handle the worst,” said David Simms.

Simms, know as Capt’n Snapper, said after 38 years on the water, he never thought he would come close to anything like this.

Simms was on his way back from a commercial fishing trip. He said his port engine alarm went off, so he stopped to see what was going on.

“About 30 minutes we opened the hatch and everything was clear. So we cranked up and was going to come on to our dock,” said Simms.

In an attempt to make it home to his marina, that’s when everything went up in flames.

“Smoke started boiling out of the vent again and 30 seconds later the wheelhouse was full of smoke and we had to get out,” said Simms.

Although they were faced with a life or death situation, for the most part, Simms said everyone stayed calm.

“You don’t have time to call somebody to say come and help me because in less than 5 minutes that boat caught fire and was burning,” said Simms.

He and his wife had just purchased the boat in July to help catch fish for their restaurant.
Losing this boat may have an impact on the restaurant, but it’s something that can be replaced.

“We’re all here safe and sound and all I can say is thank the Lord for that,” said Simms.

They lost close to 1,000 pounds of snappers from the fire Wednesday night and they plan to replace the boat in the future to help the restaurant.


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