2 rescued after boat catches fire, sinks off Vancouver Island

The fire was reported around noon Monday. (Court Brooker)

Two people were rescued after their boat caught fire off Qualicum Beach, B.C., north of Parksville, on Monday afternoon.

Reports of the fire came in around noon, according to Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC) spokesperson Sub-Lt. Wilson Ho.

The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria dispatched the Canadian Coast Guard's fast response craft, French Creek One, to the fire aboard a 12-metre vessel.

Once there, emergency crews picked up two people from the burning vessel, according to Ho. The pair were then taken to paramedics on shore for assessment.

According to the coast guard, the boat was located about one nautical mile away from shore.

The vessel had about 1,000 litres of diesel on board, as well as three propane tanks.

The boat burned for most of the day before it sank in 300 feet (90 metres) of water Monday evening, according to the coast guard.

Coast guard members reported that most of the fuel onboard had burned throughout the day, and that there was a "minimal non-recoverable sheen" around 8 p.m.

A coast guard environmental response team is back in the area Tuesday to monitor for fuel leakage from the remains of the boat, according to Ho.

The coast guard says it's currently unclear how the fire started.