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Boat fire drama at Lymington harbour





PASSENGERS on board a boat which burst into flames in Lymington harbour yesterday (Sunday) were rescued by the crew of a passing fishing vessel that helped them to safety.

Dramatic photos and video captured the scene as huge flames and black smoke were sent into the air from the Axopar 28.

Passers-by on the harbour and boat owners in the water were shocked to see the huge fire break out, and multiple 999 calls were made to alert HM Coastguard.

Adrian Chisnell, who photographed the aftermath of the blaze which left the boat a blackened shell, said: “It burnt very quickly and there was not much left of it after.”

Rob Chandler shot video of the blaze which sent huge plumes of black smoke across the skyline.

Lymington RNLI and the harbour master were involved in putting out the blaze, along with firefighters, as a coastguard helicopter from Lee-on-Solent hovered above the burning burnt.

(Picture: Adrian Chisnell)
(Picture: Adrian Chisnell)
(Picture: Adrian Chisnell)
(Picture: Adrian Chisnell)
Boat fire at Lymington harbour (picture: Rob Chandler)
Boat fire at Lymington harbour (picture: Rob Chandler)

A Lymington Coastguard rescue team also responded and assessed the two casualties, believed to be a father and son and not requiring medical attention.

The stricken vessel was eventually brought back to the slipway by a harbour master craft.

Harbour master Ryan Willegers told the A&T the boat was recovered in a triple operation by his team, the fire brigade and the RNLI.

The stricken boat after the fire at Lymington harbour (picture: Lymington Coastguard)
The stricken boat after the fire at Lymington harbour (picture: Lymington Coastguard)

He said: “The blaze broke out about 2.45pm yesterday after developing what the owner said was an electrical fault.

“It developed very quickly and luckily a commercial fishing vessel returning to the harbour managed to rescue the two people on board.”

The RNLI on the way to a boat fire on Lymington harbour (picture: Peter Padfield)
The RNLI on the way to a boat fire on Lymington harbour (picture: Peter Padfield)

Mr Willegers said the firefighters went out on a harbour master boat to tackle the blaze with water pumps, and managed to quickly get it under control.

He added: “The boat was in the lower part of the river, known as the short reach, when the fire started.

“It drifted onto the mudflat where, in a triple operation between my team, the fire brigade and the RNLI, the fire was brought under control.

“Once the fire was out our vessel brought it back to the Bath Road slipway where it was docked.”

Mr Willegers said the boat sank overnight but is still visible at low tide. He is now waiting to hear from the owner’s insurers as to when it will be recovered.

A Lymington Coastguard spokesperson told the A&T afterwards the boat was only 18 months old and was carrying 300 litres of petrol.

“It was a catastrophic fire, as you can see from the pictures, and the vessel was burnt to the water line in the end,” they said.

“The multi-agency emergency services rescue went very well and with a satisfactory conclusion.”



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