The US Coast Guard responded to reports of a possible fire Sunday on the yacht belonging to the retired doctor busted for carrying drugs, guns and prostitutes onboard — leaving Nantucket locals who heard the distress call in stitches.
“We just heard it on the radio. We started laughing about it,” said one fisherman who was about 30 miles off the coast with friends when the alert was broadcast out about 69-year-old Scott Anthony Burke’s 82-foot yacht, the Jess Conn.
“We were like, ‘Oh, he’s burning the evidence!’” the Nantucket native told The Post, requesting anonymity because of how small the island community is.
“We were like, ‘Oh, he’s getting in trouble so he’s burning the evidence and we’re going to come back and he’s going to have blown up the boat in the harbor and it will be a nightmare.’”
The Nantucket outpost of the Coast Guard confirmed they were dispatched to the Jess Conn around 4 p.m. Sunday after a woman onboard called to report a fire after seeing smoke.
Officials quickly determined the smoke was merely the boat’s own exhaust, telling The Post it “wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.”
Burke’s yacht has remained anchored in Nantucket Harbor since cops discovered cocaine, ketamine, and at least two pistols and ammunition onboard while responding to reports that a woman had overdosed on Tuesday.
The former spine doctor — a married father of two based in Florida — was cuffed and hit with weapons trafficking and drug charges.
He was taken into custody and sprung loose after posting his $200,000 bail in full about a day later.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges during a court appearance Wednesday.
The fisherman called Burke a “freakin’ weirdo,” but said the Jess Conn had been a “peaceful” and “low-key” boat before the arrest.
Others around the harbor also said there had been no disturbances coming from the Jess Conn before the incident.
“They were real low-key before they got busted,” said an angler who asked to remain anonymous.
People have been seen on the Jess Conn throughout the weekend, but it remains unclear whether Burke is back among them after posting bail or if he is on the island at all.
The angler said he saw two men sitting on the back deck Saturday.
“They were just sitting in the back with hats and glasses on. Just two people sitting in the shadows,” he told The Post.
One of them matched Burke’s build, but he said that wasn’t very strong evidence that it was him.
“He looks like most of the millionaires around here. They look like they’ve been eating in restaurants for the last thirty years,” the angler said. “A lot of booze, a lot of salt, a lot of cream.”