ROCKLAND — Rockland firefighters battled pounding waves Monday, Jan. 17 as they tried to put out a fire aboard a fishing vessel docked at the municipal fish pier.

The fire aboard the Holly & Abby was called in shortly after 11:30 a.m.

Smoke could be seen from the vessel when crews arrived.

The floats and the vessel were rocking dramatically on the west side of the pier as large waves crashed over the east side of the pier. In addition torrential rain was falling and winds were blasting at more than 33 miles per hour with higher gusts.

The National Weather Service in Gray said the highest reported wind gust in Rockland on Monday was 53 miles per hour.

At the same time, Central Maine Power reported 75 power outages in the area encompassing the fish pier including Commercial Street, Tillson Avenue, Lime Street, and Park Drive.

Fire Chief Christopher Whytock said the boat had to be secured more before he could put firefighters on the floats. They also had to have water survival gear on. Three firefighters went inside the vessel and contained the fire to the engine room under the wheelhouse.

The owner of the vessel is Ivan Chase. He told firefighters that he had been using a heater in the engine room and believes that it started the fire.

The fire was extinguished by 12:30 p.m.

Rockland firefighters work to better secure the fishing vessel. Stephen Betts