Blast forces 21 to abandon yacht off New Jersey

NEW YORK Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:32pm EDT

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - An explosion aboard a yacht 17.5 miles off the coast of New Jersey forced all 21 people on board to abandon ship on Monday with seven of them injured, a U.S. Coast Guard spokesman said.

A Coast Guard helicopter and two rescue boats were on their way to the scene while other local government agencies and good Samaritans were also on their way, Chief Warrant Officer Brandon Brewer said.

A spokesman for the Gateway National Recreation Area said as many as nine people were injured.

Two more Coast Guard helicopters and two more Coast Guard rescue boats were also set to launch, Brewer said.

"It was a call for help. They had lost all of the electronics on board their boat after reportedly some kind of explosion," Brewer said.

"They have one or more life rafts that they're using," he said.

Brewer said he had no more information on the yacht, which was called Blind Date.

(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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