Engine fire en­gulfs boat

Mo­tor yacht sinks in ball of flames

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Peter Car­ruthers Peter.Car­ruthers@ news­re­gional­me­dia.com.au

AN ENGINE fire is as­sumed re­spon­si­ble for the sink­ing of a late-model Riviera mo­tor yacht on Satur­day morn­ing.

Whit­sun­day Vol­un­teer Marine Res­cue me­dia of­fi­cer Nor­bert Goss said a res­cue boat was dis­patched to Almora Islet af­ter a 000 call was re­ceived at about 10.30am on Satur­day.

Whit­sun­day Water Po­lice were al­ready at the scene.

The VMR ves­sel picked up mem­bers of the Queens­land Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vice who brought spe­cial­ist on-water fire fight­ing equip­ment.

Ar­riv­ing at the boat, which was al­ready en­gulfed in flames, Mr Goss said two pas­sen­gers and a dog had aban­doned ship by means of a ten­der.

QFES mem­bers doused flames, at­tached a tow line to the ves­sel and at­tempted to pull it into shal­lower water.

This ex­er­cise was re­peated af­ter the first tow line broke and even­tu­ally the fire spread be­neath the water line and the boat sunk in shal­low water.

Mr Goss said boat­ies needed to be aware of the dan­ger of in­board-en­gines on boats.

“Gen­er­ally, there are cer­tain mo­tors that some­times have is­sues with fumes in the engine room and all it needs is a spark to ig­nite (them),” he said.

Rags in the bilge can also self-com­bust.

Mr Goss rec­om­mended the in­stal­la­tion of bilge sen­sors, which are de­signed to sound an alarm when flammable fumes are de­tected, leak­ing gas bot­tles can also pro­vide an ig­ni­tion source.

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

FLOATING INFERNO: A boat fire en­gulfs a mo­tor yacht off Almora Islet on Satur­day morn­ing.

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