06/12/2014 07:29 EDT | Updated 08/12/2014 05:59 EDT

Police say fire that destroyed boat near B.C. islands may have started in engine

GALIANO ISLAND, B.C. - Police say a fire that destroyed a 15-metre pleasure boat in Active Pass, which cuts through some of B.C.'s southern Gulf Islands, is believed to have started in one of two diesel engines.

Mounties say that by the time an RCMP vessel and a coast guard hovercraft arrived, the boat was fully engulfed and eventually sank.

A couple from Newfoundland and their dog managed to escape — thanks to the efforts of people on a whale-watching boat and a fishing vessel.

Cpl. Rod Pick says the pair and their pet were taken to Galiano Island, where they boarded a ferry back to Tsawwassen after a harrowing end to their week-long trip to the San Juan Islands.

They were on their way to Steveston when the fire erupted.

RCMP are thanking other boaters for their rescue efforts.

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