Fire on the water

Shane Scanlan

* This article was published 10 years ago

Docklands was in the news for the wrong reasons again last month with a massive boat fire at Yarra’s Edge capturing Melbourne’s interest.

The owner of the luxury Horizon 78 cruiser had only just taken possession of the $4 million boat when fire broke out at about 4.30 pm on March 21.

A Marina YE employee, the owner and another man attempted to battle the blaze before abandoning ship minutes before the boat erupted in flames.

Toxic smoke from the fire permeated the CBD as fire fighters attempted in vain to extinguish the blaze. The fire was only put out several hours later when the boat sank at its mooring.

The incident has drawn attention to the inadequacy of the fire brigade’s capacity to fight marine fires.

A less-reported concern arising from

the incident is the silting of the river at Yarra’s Edge which meant that the Port of Melbourne’s fire-fighting tug ran aground as it attempted to get close enough to the fire.

The grounding churned up debris from the river floor as the skipper gunned his engines and escaped back downstream.

This same tug performed fire-fighting demonstrations at the Community Safety Day in this location less than two years ago.

Marina YE manger Allan Cayzer said it was not known how the fire started. An attempt to salvage the craft on March 25 failed •

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