Emergency services rushed to the Plymouth marina on Tuesday after an explosion and huge plumes of smoke could be seen billowing from a vessel.
A statement issued by the marina says that the owner of the yacht escaped with minor injuries, but was taken to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth for a precautionary check-up.
The marina believes the fire was caused by an onboard incident. It says despite the best efforts of the fire service, they were unable to save the yacht and it sank just after midnight. Environmental protection measures were deployed at the scene to contain any pollution arising from the incident. No other vessels are thought to have been damaged.
Andy Tweedle, who lives at Ocean Court next to the marina, told the Plymouth Herald that he woke up to the sound of a ‘big bang’, but thought it might be fireworks.
“I was woken up with a big bang and I thought kids were letting off fireworks with it being nearly November.
“I didn’t think anything of it and then I saw an orange glow.
“Right next to it was a big Princess cruiser literally behind it and that would’ve been really scary if that had caught fire.”
There was a multi-agency response.
“On the team’s arrival the vessel was found to be well alight, the lone occupant had been been rescued from the boat by a brave member of the public. The occupant was taken to hospital suffering from burns and smoke inhalation,” says Plymouth Coastguard Rescue Team, via facebook.
“With multiple fire appliances on scene pumping sea water onto the vessel the team provided water rescue cover for the fire fighters operating on the pontoons.
“Coastguards also assisted marina staff with securing vessels that needed moving from the area of the fire.
“After 3.5hrs of the vessel being afloat – still on fire – the vessel sank extinguishing the fire at the same time.”
Charles Bush, Managing Director of Mayflower Marina says: “We are indebted to the emergency services for the speed at which they arrived on site and for their professionalism in bringing this situation under control.”
Four fire service crews and a fire boat from Plymstock were in attendance tackling the flames. Three portable pumps were in use, along with covering jets and ground monitors.
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service’s statement says:
“Two fire appliances from Greenbank were sent to reports of a boat on fire at Mayflower Marina in Plymouth.
“Upon arrival, crews confirmed a 40ft boat to be well alight. The fire boat from Plymstock was also requested to attend along with two further fire appliances from Camels Head and Crownhill.”