While making coffee this morning at 05h45, I looked out the window to see a sailboat on the West Transient Dock/Fuel Dock fully involved in flames. Grabbed cell phone in right hand to call 911 and laid on my boat horn to wake up other stay-aboards with left hand.
If there was anyone onboard, Pray for those souls.
The boat on fire was the middle boat in a line of five larger motor yachts on the inside of the transient face dock. Anyone familiar with the west basin will know the spot. It was a MIRACLE that the wind was light and blowing DIRECTLY off the boat into the open fairway. Neither of the boats fore or astern of the burning boat appeared to be seriously affected.
The police got there in just a couple of minutes. About that time, I realized I better get off my boat, The breeze would have blown that burning carcass across the fairway and cut off my access to shore. The Fort Myers fire department took 10 minutes to respond and get a charged fire hose to the dock. Pretty good, I thought. In two minutes, they had somewhat knocked down the flames, but of course, still burning inside. By that time, the carcass had burned through it’s dock lines and the hulk was adrift. A fire boat arrived and I hollered at them to lasso the carcass before it got across the fairway. They did that, and dragged the hulk out of the basin and into the river.
I’ll bet 20:1 on the 30A twist lock electric fittings; the weather here as been hazy, hot, humid, and I’m sure that boat came in for electric and A/C. We all depend on each other to be safe! Check your electric fittings!!!
Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary, currently at Charlotte Harbor, Punta Gorda, FL
Sailboat catches fire at Fort Myers Yacht Basin
May 22, 2016 3:14 PM EDT 0
FORT MYERS, Fla. – A sailboat caught fire, sending black smoke billowing into the sky Sunday morning at the Yacht Basin.
One man suffered from second-degree burns to his hand, but authorities said there were no serious injuries.
Crews were on scene before 9 a.m. working to clean debris and a small oil spill.
There is no word on the cause of the fire.
CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL REPORT AND PHOTO
This link shows the early phase of the fire, before police or fire department arrival. The boat was still anong-side tied to the dock. If you listen carefully, you can hear screaming and sirens or responding police.
This link is taken from the shore end of the dock. This was after I decided to get to safer ground, and after the police and fire department had arrived, but before fire department had hose deployed. The boat’s lines had burned through, and the stern of the boat had swung away from the dock. The fire department had not yet begun to flood the boat.
It’s really a MIRACLE this wasn’t a much more serious fire. There was a North wind at exactly 90 degrees to the dock. The wind blew the fire and heat over the fairway. That was the only configuration where those immediate neighboring boats could have survived.
These were taken after I bailed from Sanctuary, so from the “safe access” end of the dock. The lines had burned through, and the flaming hulk had swung away from the dock. It was a MIRACLE that no other boats were affected!!!
Good news. There were two men aboard. The boat was registered in Florida, but they are Canadians headed back to Canada. Both are OK. One has 2nd degree burns to his hands. All personal possessions and all personal documents lost, but both souls are alive and will see their families again!
The fellow in the boat to the right in the video was asleep in the aft cabin of his boat. He slept through the whole thing. Can you believe, no one knocked on that boat! And, no damage to his boat, either.
“…His eye is on the sparrow, And I know He watches me!”
He was watching over all of us at CFMYB this morning!
Click Here To View the Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Ft Myers Yacht Basin
Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Ft Myers Yacht Basin