Cata­ma­ran de­stroyed in blaze

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

A DE­CI­SION to re­turn home in­stead of ig­nor­ing en­gine trou­ble pre­vented Port Dou­glas den­tist Steven Eng­land and his fam­ily from tak­ing their cher­ished cata­ma­ran to sea just hours be­fore the lux­ury ves­sel burst into flames.

Michelle Eng­land has told of the shock and dev­as­ta­tion her fam­ily ex­pe­ri­enced as they watched their 14.6m cata­ma­ran Pieces of Eight be­ing de­stroyed by fire on Sun­day af­ter­noon.

The Cougar Cat full-cabin cata­ma­ran, worth hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars, was moored at a ma­rina in Trin­ity Park, Cairns when the fire took hold about 3.25pm.

Fam­ily mem­bers had taken the boat out just hours ear­lier.

“They didn’t get out the mouth of the river be­fore they turned around and came back be­cause some­thing wasn’t right,” Mrs Eng­land ex­plained.

“The fire could eas­ily have hap­pened out at sea.”

Fire crews bat­tled the blaze, which is thought to have been caused by an elec­tri­cal fault, for two hours be­fore Pieces of Eight sank at its moor­ing a short time later. A con­tain­ment boom was set up to pre­vent the spread of diesel or oil.

Po­lice said the fire was not be­lieved to be sus­pi­cious.

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