This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Two workers on a brine shrimp barge leapt into the Great Salt Lake to escape a fire onboard.
The craft, which carried fuel and supplies to shrimping boats and transported loads of shrimp to shore, was about 6 miles from Hat Island in Box Elder County when a fire broke out in the engine Thursday afternoon. according to Dave Shearer, harbormaster at the Great Salt Lake marina.
The fire spread quickly, forcing the two employees on board to jump into the lake. The crew on a support boat pulled them from the water about 8 minutes later.
The blaze completely burned the cabin and spread to a 600-gallon fuel tank, which ruptured and caused large flames to burst from the barge. A bulkhead in front of the tank prevented the fire's spread to two other fuel tanks, each 700 gallons, Shearer said. But the barge, which is 60 to 70 feet long, was a total loss, Shearer said.