Two American yachtsmen, who have been rescued multiple times since setting sail last July, suffered a fire on board yesterday afternoon.
Their yacht Nora was moored alongside Hayle quay when the incident occurred. Prompting fire crews, police and coastguard personnel to attend.
A spokesman for Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service said: ‘One appliance from Hayle Fire Station and one appliance from Tolvaddon attended a small fire on an 18tonnes sailing yacht.
‘The yacht was alongside so for safety purposes the water rescue teams from Penzance and Falmouth also attended. The crews used three breathing apparatus, two hosereels and one triple extension ladder to exinguish the fire.
‘Police and Coastguard were also in attendance and the incident has been left in the hands of the Harbourmaster. We have no further details for this incident.’
The yacht suffered ‘cosmetic’ fire damage after it tipped over in low water at Hayle Harbour, Cornwall, and an unattended candle reignited and set a pile of clothing alight while the two crew popped ashore.
Last week, Nora was rescued by the St Ives Lifeboat after experiencing engine trouble making it nine times in six months the two yachtsmen, aged in their 70s, have required assistance.
Bob Weise and Steve Shapiro have called out lifeboats in Norway, Denmark, Scotland, Ireland and Cornwall since setting sail from Norway last July.
Hayle Harbour Master Peter Haddock said: ‘The yacht Nora was moored to an RNLI bouy in St Ives Bay following a previous marine incident.
‘This mooring was required by the RNLI therefore the Nora was bought into Hayle by the St Ives lifeboat on the evening of the 25/1/16 as St Ives could not accomodate the vessel.
‘The Nora berthed on East Quay as instructed by the HM. As the harbour dries at low water and the vessel was not bilge keeled there was a possibility that it could fall onto its side at low water.
‘The crew were therfore instructed to ensure the vessel was suitably weighted so it would list in towards the quay wall and to also place a rope around the mast which should be secured to the quay and to adjust the mooring lines as the tide fell.
‘On my arrival at work AM 26th January the vessel appeard to be sitting nicley alongside the quay. During mid morning the wind increased to strong/galeforce, it was approching low water so I sighted the Nora from the harbour office and as I did so the vessel fell onto its port side. I attended but the crew were not on board and I was informed they had gone into town.
‘On returning to the office I noticed a plume of smoke comming from the fwd hatch so I summond the emergency services and then phoned the Nora’s crew. The crew arrived on the quay from the local pub and informed me that they had lit candles to keep warm and one of these must have re-ignighted and fell onto combustible material when the vessel fell onto its side.
‘The fire brigade contained the fire to the foreward section of the vessel which did not take long to extinguish, but they remained on site for some time monitioring a hot spot. The crew had failed to moor the vessel as instructed and only moved some weight below deck to the inboard side and did not secure a rope from mast to quay because they were not sure what to secure it to.
‘I was hopeful that the vessel would re-float on the next tide but I bought a crane in on standby to lift the vessel if it failed to float. Fortunatley it did and I remained on site until I was satisfied that the vessel had been moored correctly in accordance with my directions. ‘
The MAIB have been informed and a report submitted.
A spokesperson for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: ‘We can confirm that a yacht in Hayle Harbour caught fire and capsized on 26 January. St Ives and Portreath Coastguard Rescue Teams attended the scene alongside Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, South West Ambulance Service and Devon and Cornwall Police. The fire was extinguished and both crew members are accounted for and safe.’