Casino boat catches fire near Tampa Bay, all passengers safe

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Florida authorities say a casino venture's shuttle boat caught fire and all 50 passengers safely made it to the nearby shore after a rescue operation in the Tampa Bay area.

Port Richey Chief of Police Gerard DeCanio says all passengers and crew were able to reach safety in Port Richie after the fire erupted Sunday afternoon.

DeCanio told The Associated Press that there were no life-threatening injuries, mostly reports of chest pain and smoke inhalation.

He says the shuttle boat was close to shore when it had engine problems and the crew decided to turn back.

The shuttle boat carries people back and forth from the Tropical Breeze Casino Cruise, which is offshore because it can't legally operate close to land.

DeCanio says the shuttle boat was rapidly consumed by fire.