Blaze which destroyed £6m superyacht leaves gin and cushions floating in harbour

·3 min read
The £6 million superyacht is now sitting at the bottom of the harbour. (SWNS)
The £6 million superyacht is now sitting at the bottom of the harbour. (SWNS)

Sailors have been warned to be aware of cushions, gin and other dangerous debris floating in Torquay Harbour after a multi-million pound superyacht was destroyed by a fire over the weekend.

The vessel - estimated to be worth up to £6m - is now submerged at the bottom of the harbour.

The blaze broke out on Saturday with smoke seen billowing across the blue skies above the heads of sunbathers.

Tor Bay Harbourmaster Rob Parsons has now warned mariners to beware of the sunken shell of the superyacht, named Rendezvous.

Further warnings were issued about 'floating debris' like 'gin bottles and cushions.'

Parsons said: "Please be aware that there is a sunken vessel located against the edge of Princess Pier west of the main MDL marina.

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Roads had to be closed and beaches evacuated on Saturday as the blaze engulfed the yacht. (SWNS)
Roads had to be closed and beaches evacuated on Saturday as the blaze engulfed the yacht. (SWNS)

"The vessel is surrounded by a number of anti-pollution booms, some of which are anchored to the harbour base.

"The area will be lit during the night.

"Mariners using this part of Torquay harbour are advised to navigate with care and at a slow speed."

Devon and Cornwall Police and Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service have both stated that they do not hold primacy over the inquiry as to how the fire started, and police have only stated that the fire was "unexplained".

They said at least five fire engines were on the scene after the 85ft motorboat went up in smoke.

The services implemented a number of road closures and urged members of the public to avoid the area.

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Several pollution warnings have been issued because of the blaze. (SWNS)
Several pollution warnings have been issued because of the blaze. (SWNS)

Some beaches were also cleared.

The Environment Agency (EA) confirmed that officers were helping with advice and guidance on bathing water, and on Saturday issued two pollution alerts for the nearest beaches to the marina.

More pollution recovery equipment was also expected to arrive from Birmingham.

Steve Darling, Torbay council leader, said there was a large amount of "detritus - gin bottles and cushions and the like floating in the water" which had come from the luxury craft.

The fire also damaged part of the harbour. (SWNS)
The fire also damaged part of the harbour. (SWNS)

He said that he and his fellow councillors had been given some information regarding the clean-up operation currently underway and confirmed that officers from the local authority would be carrying out an inspection of the damaged pier on Monday.

He said: "That's the crucial thing, because it is usually a good vantage point for the public who wish to see the airshow.

"I'm asking for our officers to give all elected members an update on the vessel, such as how much was on it in terms of diesel, how much has been recovered from the water, their thoughts on the pier and then we will share this information with the media and the public."

The Environment Agency reported that the fire could have resulted in nine tonnes of diesel being spilt into the ocean.

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