Emergency Services Battle Boat Fire At St Mary’s Harbour

RIB fire april 2015The Coastguard, firefighters and lifeboat were called out in the early hours of this morning after a 6.5m RIB was reported to be on fire in St Mary’s Harbour.

The fire service received the first calls just after 1.20am. Eleven firefighters rushed to the quay with two appliances.

Retained fire crew from St Martin’s were also alerted and brought in to stand-by ‘on station.’

The transom, or stern of the vessel had melted and that meant the boat became swamped and turned over, putting the fire out.

The Blue Hunter, which is the Fire Service’s response vessel, brought the RIB to Old Quay where responders tried to right the boat to see if anybody was underneath.

During this time the RNLI launch boat and inflatable conducted a search of the harbour and the coastguard searched Town Beach

Assistant Harbourmaster Alan Hartwell says that the vessel was only carrying small quantities of petrol and no heavier oils such as diesel or stored engine oil. The petrol is thought to have burnt in the blaze.

There was no water pollution caused by the fire or the sinking but pollution response equipment was available and ready to use.

The local owner has since been traced onshore.

The part sunken vessel was recovered from its mooring and this incident is now being investigated by  St Mary’s Police.

Alan says there does not appear to be any evidence of persons present or foul play. There were no tenders near the site and no noise prior to the blaze.

He wants to thank Kier night workers who raised the alarm and who tried to reach the vessel. They also turned on their working lamps to illuminate the search area which Alan says was incredibly helpful.

Harbour staff have checked the area this morning for damaged mooring buoys and/or other vessels and all appears well.