Fire in Fort Lauderdale

23 April 2015

Bahia Mar Yachting Center in Fort Lauderdale was brighter than usualWednesday night, April 22, when a yacht docked at the marina caught fire around10:15 p.m. A second vessel at a nearby slip also was damaged. Eyewitness Capt.Richard Alcott named the vessels as M/Y Journey,a Fairline Squadron 68, and M/Y Star,a 42-meter Kingship.

Authorities claim the smaller yacht, which was unmanned, caughtfire, sending flames shooting 50 to 60 feet in the air and damaging theneighboring M/Y Star, where flamestrapped two people on board.

“The flames were blowing onto the gangplank of the largerboat, so there was no way for [the people] to get off without jumping in thewater,” says Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Department Chief Timothy Heiser.

The fireboat on scene started an aggressive attack on M/Y Journey, which was fully engulfed withflames. Under cover from the fireboat, the police boat was able to safelyrescue the two from M/Y Star. There wereno casualties from the incident, although a firefighter had to be treated atthe scene after being overcome by smoke and heat, reports the Sun Sentinel.

The fire crew boarded the burning vessel in an attempt tosave as much of it as they could, and crews acted quickly to ensure the flamesdidn’t spread to nearby boats, extinguishing the blaze in about 15 minutes.

The crew then set up containment boomsto minimize environmental damage, says Heiser, and the firedepartment kept an engine at the scene all night to monitor the vessel.

Adds Alcott, “[The] Fort LauderdaleFire Department was very quick to respond and their fireboat did great. We werevery lucky the wind was [southeasterly]; this could have quickly become amarina disaster.”

According to the fire chief, M/Y Journey is a total loss, and M/Y Star sustained approximately $300,000worth of damages.

The cause of the fire is currentlyunder investigation. Check back for updates.

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Photos Courtesy of Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Dept. Chief Timothy Heiser:

Photos courtesy of Capt. Richard Alcott:

Photos by Hillary Hoffower: