Walton Co. Boat Fire

A fishing launch was destroyed by fire in Choctawhatchee Bay near Destin Monday morning.

Flames erupted in the hold of the 41-foot vessel as it headed for the intra-coastal waterway just before 8 am.

The owner says an on-board fire protection system malfunctioned and he was forced to jump in the water before being rescue by the Coast Guard.

The boat, valued at about a quarter of a million dollars, burned to the waterline and sank.

The State Fire Marshall’s Office is trying to determine the cause of the blaze.