The fierce fire engulfed a 40ft two-masted glass fibre yacht near Rostrevor Pier, Northern Ireland

A yacht was destroyed by fire after catching alight in County Down, Northern Ireland early yesterday morning.

Kilkeel

RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew were alerted to the fiercely burning 40ft two-masted glass fibre yacht, which was

anchored southsouth east of Rostrevor Pier,Carlingford Lough.

The owner had been contacted and confirmed there were two gas cylinders aboard the yacht but no people.

The Kilkeel lifeboat Frank William Walton was launched

at 2.20am and quickly reached the stricken yacht which very quickly was

ablaze from bow to stern.

One of the propane gas cylinders had already exploded so the

lifeboat with, four fire-fighters from Warrenpoint and a mobile fire

fighting pump aboard, stood off at a safe distance.

When the fire had

somewhat subsided the lifeboat returned to the yacht and the flames were

extinguished.

The lifeboat left the firefighters and the pump ashore at Warrenpoint and returned safely to the boathouse in Kilkeel at 6.45am.

Helm Gerry Smyth said: ‘It was vital that the lifeboat crew, the

firefighters and the lifeboat were kept out of danger whilst there was

the possibility of the gas cylinders exploding.

‘The yacht was

extensively damaged and still afloat when we left the scene but

importantly no lives were lost.’

Picture credit: RNLI/Kilkeel