Fire destroys buildings at historic yacht club

Antigua fire cloggy's

A severe fire that broke out in Falmouth Harbour, Antigua, has caused significant damage to the historic Antigua Yacht Club Marina & Resort on the island’s southeastern coast.

The cause of the fire, which started on Tuesday (3 October 2023), has not been confirmed. However, local reports have linked it to a lightning strike during tropical storm Philippe, which struck Barbuda on the same day.

Firefighters attended the scene, but strong winds hampered their efforts to bring the blaze under control. A statement by Antigua & Barbuda’s National Office of Disaster Services says firefighters were still attempting to suppress the blaze at 5am on Wednesday.

This has caused the closure of several well-known restaurants, cafes and businesses in the proximity of the Antigua Yacht Club, with some being burned to the ground. Local reports state that up to 100 people may have lost their job as a result. The Yacht Club building itself has survived.

State media ABS reports that the fire has affected Skull Duggery café, Yacht Club Marina Gym, Cloggy’s, Dock Master Office and Dockside Liquor in the yacht club’s commercial building. No serious injuries have been reported.

In a post shared on Facebook, Prime Minister Gaston Browne said: “Giving thanks that no one got seriously hurt. We have been spared the worst. As a resilient people, we soldier on.”

The ‘abandoned’ superyacht Alfa Nero, which is currently at the centre of a legal wrangle after a failed attempt to sell it to Google’s ex-CEO, was docked at Antigua Yacht Club Marina but was moved on Monday before the storm.

The National Office of Disaster Service (NODS) in Antigua and Barbuda says there have been over 30 requests for search and rescue following widespread flooding throughout the island after storm Philippe passed.

Antigua Yacht Club Marina has issued a statement saying it is “deeply devastated by the fires” that have impacted the facilities and services within its main complex. “Our thoughts are with the affected business owners and their employees during this difficult time.”

It adds: “Despite this unfortunate incident, we want to assure our valued members, patrons, and the sailing community that the main marina facilities, including diesel, water, electricity, and dockage, remain fully operational. We are committed to providing uninterrupted services to our visitors and guests.

“A new location for our office has already been set in motion to ensure seamless communication and assistance for all our customers.”

Images courtesy of Cloggy’s.

3 responses to “Fire destroys buildings at historic yacht club”

  1. peter anthony says:

    Hi all its the commercial building which is part of the Antigua Yacht Club MARINA not the club that was destroted . We have temporarily lost some iconic watering holes in Cloggies , Seabreeze and Skullduggeries and some excellent local business but the Yacht Club and surrounding buildings and restaurants were untouched

  2. Ciprich, G. L. says:

    Dosent’ t look at all, even in part, like the old yacht club.

  3. FiW says:

    You’re right – it’s because it’s not! The old yacht club has survived as it’s set well apart from this burnt new(er) building.
    As Peter Anthony above says, it’s the commercial building which is part of the Yacht Club Marina which has been destroyed. The original white wooden building which has always been Antigua Yacht Club (not Yacht Club Marina), is still standing
    So sorry for everyone who had businesses in the new building – really traumatizing and the loss of their income just before the season picks up. Joyce’s supermarket alone provided employment for many.
    A sad time.

This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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