When news happens send us your pictures, video and views. Text BE to 80360 or contact us by email
Probe launched into blaze on fishing boat
AN investigation has been launched after fire badly damaged a 22ft fishing boat that had been moored out to sea in Poole Harbour .
Onlookers were shocked when they saw flames leaping into the night sky between Baiter and Fisherman’s Dock at the eastern end of the quay just after 10pm on Friday.
One said he had heard reports of two men in wellington boots rowing to the beach and running away around the time the Poole canoe-style boat caught light.
George Herkes of Canford Cliffs , who was visiting his parents at their holiday accommodation in Labrador Drive, said:“When it first started I thought it was fireworks on the Quay.
“We were on the balcony looking out towards the water. The next thing we saw was a lot of flames about a quarter of a mile away. We were waiting for a gas explosion because most of these boats have a propane cylinder on board.
“I phoned 999, but I think someone had already done it. It took them a while to get here and it was a hell of an inferno to start with.”
Another onlooker Roger Horobin said: “The neighbours came round and said something was on fire in the harbour, so I took the camera and went down.
“There was a small inflatable emergency boat going around the burning wreck. Somebody went past and was heard saying that two youths had set the boat on fire.”
Both Poole RNLI lifeboats were launched.
The inshore lifeboat arrived first and found the vessel engulfed in flames. It was followed by the all-weather lifeboat carrying firefighting equipment.
Dorset Police helicopter was used to light up the surrounding area to help the other emergency services deal with the blaze.
The person who raised the alarm with Portland Coastguards had reported seeing a couple of people near the boat. The inshore lifeboat searched the immediate area but found no trace.
Dorset firefighters tackled the blaze with hoses and quickly brought it under control. No casualties were found on board. The charred remains of the boat were towed to the shore at Baiter where another fire crew made them safe.
Yesterday the wreck was still visible east of Fisherman’s Dock. The fire service is leading an investigation into the cause of the fire.