A MAN and boy had to be rescued from the River Ouse in York after their holiday cruiser was engulfed by fire and later sank.

They were picked up by the crew of a pleasure craft who managed to locate them in the darkness before 999 services arrived.

The man and little boy had jumped into the water to escape the flames before the boat capsized.

It is thought their route back to the riverbank was blocked by fire because the wooden decking on the jetty leading to the shore had also caught alight.

The drama unfolded at about 3.15am on Saturday at Acaster Malbis marina, near York.

Firefighters said the blaze started on the vessel, called The Mojo, and spread to the wooden decked jetty that ran alongside the boat below the river bank.

A man aged 40 and a young boy were on board at the time.

“They escaped by jumping into the water and were rescued by members of the public using a pleasure craft,” a North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service spokesman said.

They were given first aid at the scene by paramedics and taken to York Hospital by ambulance for check-ups.

It was not known if they had suffered any injuries, but the fire service said the pair were only taken to hospital as a precaution.

Both the boat and jetty were destroyed by the flames and the vessel capsized and sank at its mooring, leaving part of the hull sticking out the water.

Fire investigators are looking into the incident.

The cause of the blaze was not immediately known.

It happened at Acaster Marine, on the other side of the Ouse to Naburn Lock.

Locals said there had been a delay because fire crews were originally directed to the Naburn side of the river.

Acaster Marine rents moorings to a number of cruisers and barges. Owners said The Mojo was being used for pleasure trips, not as a houseboat.

One said: “All we know is we came down here in the morning and The Mojo had sunk.

“No one was more surprised than we were. It had not been here that long as far as I’m aware.”

It was unclear who was on board at the time and no one was available at the scene to comment.