February 9, 2019 9:36 pm
Updated: February 9, 2019 10:34 pm

50-foot yacht destroyed in wind-fueled Sidney marina fire

A yacht burns in the Port Sidney Marina on Saturday.

Jim Saunderson
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A 50-foot yacht was completely destroyed in Sidney on Saturday, in a large fire that crews say was exacerbated by high winds.

Sidney Fire Chief Brett Mikkelsen said crews were called to the Port Sidney Marina around 2:45 p.m., for reports of a boat on fire.

READ MORE: Crews battle boat fire near Pitt River Bridge

“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.

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About 20 firefighters used a special marina firefighting trailer that is kept on site to tackle the flames from the dock.

Crews were able to prevent the fire from spreading, though one neighbouring boat was damaged. The yacht sank, Mikkelsen said.

READ MORE: Boat catches fire in Vancouver marina

“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,” Mikkelsen said.

“Those were difficult circumstances.”

No one was on board at the time of the fire, and no one was hurt.

Firefighters work to extinguish a yacht fire in Sidney.

Jason Gibbs

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.”

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