Fiery end for launch

Whangarei Report - - News - By Imran Ali

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.”

PHOTO/SKI-NZ RID­ERS

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.

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