Catamaran destroyed in blaze
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.