HOUSTON -

Two shrimpers, Earl Branch and Cliff Dunn, were rescued by two good Samaritans on Friday after the U.S. Coast Guard says the men's shrimp boat caught fire just north of the South Galveston Jetty.

"I looked all around and all I seen was water and you see water in front of you and flames behind and you can't swim, you don't know what you're going to do," said Earl Branch.

"He seen it. He said and he was coming to help us," said Cliff Dunn. "We got on the boat with them and watched my boat burn."

The Coast Guard Cutter Manta responded around 10 a.m. and a boat crew from Station Galveston was launched to assist.

The station boat crew arrived in about 10 minutes, but before they arrived on scene, good Samaritans Beau Jones and Jake Whitenburg rescued the men.

"We got to the front and two guys were hanging off the front waving," said Jones. "We pulled up and the jumped on our boat."

WATCH: RAW viewer video of shrimp boat burning

"Beau came in at 45 degrees pretty fast at 20 miles per hour," said Whitenburg. "We rimmed the boat at a 45 degree angle. One guy jumped in, one guy tried to climb in and he almost fell in the water. I grabbed him by the shirt and pulled him in to the boat and sped off to the other direction."

Eventually, the coast guard, the tugboat Lamar, arrived on scene at 11:16 a.m. and extinguished the fire.

"Fire is one of the most dangerous things that can happen to a boat out on the water," said Lt. Brian Sullivan, the command duty officer of Sector Houston-Galveston. "The fact that a good Samaritan put themselves in such a risky position to save lives is something we in the Coast Guard can definitely relate to."

The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the fire.

Photos: Shrimp boat burns in ship channel

Published On: Apr 12 2013 11:14:02 AM CDT   Updated On: Apr 12 2013 11:18:29 AM CDT

A shrimp boat caught fire while in the Houston Ship Channel. See photos of the inferno.

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