Fiery end for launch
A family of six was evacuated from their launch after a suspected engine fire.
Mako, a 16-metre launch, caught fire at the entrance to Marsden Cove Marina about midday on Saturday, after its owner noticed smoke coming from the engine room.
A family of two adults and four children, from Waipu, was rescued from the vessel.
Sergeant Craig Burrows, from the police search and rescue squad, said four officers and a team of 15 and 16-year-olds were preparing for a youth emergency services training session at the Marsden Cove Marina when the 111 call was received.
“We spoke to a boatie who was on his way fishing for the day and he kindly agreed to help us. A police search and rescue member jumped on board and headed out to the smoking vessel.
“The occupants were brought back and we made a second trip to collect the sole male occupant on board and he too was safely rescued,” Mr Burrows said.
Flames engulfed the launch and black clouds of smoke billowed from the hull that burned to the waterline and sank.
Northland Regional Council harbourmaster Jim Lyle said the launch owner had agreed to remove the sunken hull today.
“The usual concern in such a situation is fuel but most of it is burnt in a big fire like this. We’ve assessed the situation and put a marker on a buoy as a warning for other boaties until the hull is removed.”
GOOD TIMING: The 53-foot launch Mako fully engulfed in flames off the Marsden Cove Marina after the vessel’s occupants, two adults and four children, were successfully rescued by police.