A New Brunswick fisherman was plucked from the waters of Egmont Bay near P.E.I. after his 12-metre lobster boat caught fire Monday morning.


View Larger Map The man said he was within sight of shore when he called search and rescue.

The man used his cell phone to call the Halifax-based Joint Rescue Coordination Centre at 4:20 a.m. He said his boat was on fire and sinking, and told the centre he was within sight of land and was about to go into the water in his survival suit.

A Cormorant rescue helicopter from CFB Greenwood headed to the scene along with a Coast Guard vessel. The West Point Fire Department was also notified.

Firefighters contacted the captain of the fishing boat Something Different, who took them out into the bay. Ronnie Phillips, chief of the nearby O'Leary Fire Department, said the fisherman did all the right things before abandoning ship.

"He was in a rescue suit and he had pulled the cover off his engine house and was using that as a boat. He was floating in that," said Phillips.

"He was setting off flares as well. He had drifted: from shore it looked like about several hundred feet away from the boat when he was setting off his flares. They were basically able to go directly to him."

Firefighters pulled the man out of his makeshift dinghy at 6:06 a.m.

Rescue officials say the 41-year-old man from New Brunswick was the only person aboard the burning boat.

He was taken to nearby Howards Cove, where he was reported in good condition.

The RCMP say the man was transporting the vessel from New Brunswick to P.E.I. for winter storage when the fire broke out.

With files from the Canadian Press