The two fishermen rescued from a 20-foot Sylvan fishing boat were Carlos Rotman, 64, of Lake Bluff, and Mark Karsten, also 64, of Lake Forest.
The two left the Lake Forest harbor at 5:15 a.m. Sunday to go fishing. At approximately 6:15 a.m., the boat's 90-horsepower engine caught fire with the duo now four miles off shore, according to a Lake Forest Police Department report.
The cause of the fire is still unknown.
Two fishermen from the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff area were rescued early Sunday morning off a 20-foot boat that caught fire about four miles off the coast of Forest Park beach by the Lake Forest Fire Department (LFFD) and the U.S. Coast Guard out of Wilmette.
The boaters were not injured, according to a spokesperson from the Lake Forest Fire Department.
LFFD responded to the area just before 6:30 a.m. and found the two men still inside the boat with black smoke coming from it, trying to nurse the boat toward land, according to LFFD.
The smoke appeared to come from the boat's engine and could be seen from shore, according to a witness who asked not to be identified. The LFFD could not confirm the fire started in the boat's motor.
The fishermen did not have to get into the water, but were brought aboard the Lake Forest Fire Department boat without incident.
The witness said they were at the beach having breakfast around 7 a.m., and saw the rescue boat, and then the fishermen's boat go up in a huge smoke cloud once the tank exploded, she said.
The boat eventually sank in 45 feet of water just after 9 a.m., according to LFFD.