Feb 14, 2019
Sidney Fire Chief Brett Mikkelsen said crews were called to the Port Sidney Marina around 2:45 p.m. on Saturday February 9th, for reports of a boat on fire.
Firefighters work to extinguish a yacht fire in Sidney. – Photo by Jason Gibbs
“It was quite evident when we were responding from about a kilometre or two away that there was a large, black vertical column of smoke, so it was well, well underway,” he said.
About 20 firefighters used a special marina firefighting trailer that is kept on site to tackle the flames from the dock.
Sidney Marina Fire – Photo by Linda Bennett
“The 50-foot yacht was completely destroyed and sank, but crews were able to prevent the fire from spreading, though one neighbouring boat was damaged.” Mikkelsen said.
“Plastics, resins, vinyl, they’re all very volatile and burn very well. Once the boat gets considerably burned, you get into all kinds of fuel sources, everything from gas to diesel to propane. Then on top of that, we were dealing with winds consistently of 20 knots with gusts of up to 30 knots,”
Despite high winds under difficult circumstances, firefighters were able to extinguish the yacht fire
Mikkelsen said because the boat sank it will be some time before investigators can determine how the fire broke out.
However, he said despite no one being on the vessel at the time, the cause is not necessarily suspicious.
“These are the times of year when the electrical load on these vessels come under stress with people turning on heaters and the like. So that’s a possibility we have dealt with that in the past.”