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Yacht burns, another damaged, no one injured in Ft. Lauderdale marina fire

A yacht caught fire at Bahia Mar on Wednesday night (April 22) about 10:00 p.m. in Ft. Lauderdale. M/Y Journey, a 68-foot Fairline, was burned to the hull and M/Y Star, a 138-foot Kingship Marine, was damaged by radiant heat.

Crew from neighboring G dock made emergency calls when they noticed the fire on H dock, according to Timothy Heiser, deputy chief of Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue. No one was onboard the Fairline. The Fort Lauderdale Fireboat 49 nautical unit picked up the two crew from the aft deck of M/Y Star. They were not able to exit by gangplank due to excessive heat and smoke from the burning Fairline, said Heiser.

Smoke and flames could be seen up to 50 feet in the air, but the fire was extinguished in about 20 minutes, Heiser said. The burned Fairline remained afloat and was towed to a marina today.

“The hull [of the Fairline] was not compromised, no fuel was lost and the officers monitored the amount water used to to keep it afloat,” Heiser said.

Marina and boat fires present several challenges for firefighters, Heiser said. It can be difficult to find people onboard and fires are often hidden in secondary spaces that are difficult to locate.

“We did a primary and a secondary search for persons onboard Star,” Heiser said.

“It was dark and it was hard to see with the dense smoke,” Heiser said. “The docks are 8-10 feet wide and we had a 3-inch hose running down dock. This creates a challenge to keep the firefighters from falling in the water.”

According to Fort Lauderdale Fire and Rescue report, the Fairline, valued at $3,000,000, is a total loss and the Kingship Marine, valued at $14,500,000, sustained $300,000 worth of damage due to the radiant heat from the fire.

Photo credits to Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue, TowBoatU.S. Fort Lauderdale and Dorie Cox.

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Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton.

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