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Tuna boat catches fire in Newburyport

A 42-foot tuna boat was destroyed after it suddenly caught fire Friday evening on the Merrimack River in Newburyport, a fire official said.

The Hit List was waiting to unload its catch, a lone Atlantic bluefin tuna, when the boat caught fire shortly before 6 p.m., Newburyport Fire Chief Christopher LeClaire said in a statement.

The captain and mate escaped uninjured. The boat “was floundering as the tide went out this evening,” the statement said.

Newburyport fire officials and the Newburyport harbormaster are investigating the cause of the fire.

Alejandro Serrano can be reached at