Yachts Burn at Yard in Lauderdale

17 November 2019 By Lauren Beck

Two vessels burned in a fire November 16, 2019, at Universal Marine Center in Fort Lauderdale. Fort Lauderdale Battalion Chief Stephen Gollan said they were dispatched to the fire around 4:43 a.m. after receiving the 911 call.

Gollan reports that the vessels that burned were the 161-foot Trinity Lohengrin, with an estimated value of about $12 million, and the 107-foot Christiansen Reflection, with an estimated value of about $6 million, he says.

“Both yachts were in for refits on the interior and painting, and they were fully wrapped at the time,” Gollan says. “It’s my understanding that the crew were on the yachts earlier the night before but had left. Thankfully, no one was on the boats at the time of the incident.”

At this time, the incident is still under investigation, Gollan says. “It will be a very slow process to figure out what started it and what went wrong,” he says. “It’s believed that the fire began on the 161-footer [Lohengrin] and then with the heavy winds coming out of the northwest, pushed the flames and the heavy smoke on to the 107-foot Reflection.”

Unfortunately, Gollan says, with the boats being in such close proximity and with the fire occurring in the middle of the night, there was no one around until the fire had grown so big it had moved on. “This year alone — once we figure it all out — it will probably be the biggest monetary fire losses we have had in the city in a very long time, especially when it comes to boats,” Gollan says. 

“At this stage, [the] fire is under investigation, unknown cause,” says Capt. Bernard Calot of Universal Marine Center. “Thank Good[ness], nobody [was] hurt, just material damages.”

According to the Miami Herald, the EPA is monitoring the area and have implemented measures to stop any contaminants from entering the canal.

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Photos: courtesy of Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue