Man hurt after yacht catches fire in Fort Lauderdale

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A salvage crew is on the scene in Fort Lauderdale where a small yacht was left melted and sunk after it caught fire Monday, injuring a man.

The vessel sunk to the bottom of marina, and a tow crew will use air bags to lift 50-foot boat up and tow it away from the scene, Tuesday afternoon, a process that is expected to take several hours because of the vessel’s size.

“What we do is we float the boat, put some airbags underneath it, we start lifting it up, de-water it and tow it away,” said Adrian Barker with Tow Boat U.S.

A man had to be treated for burns after the yacht he was on caught fire.

A dog that was also on the vessel escaped unharmed.

Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue units were dispatched to Bahia Mar at 801 Seabreeze Blvd., just after 4 p.m., Monday.

Officials said firefighters worked hard to extinguish the 50-foot long yacht that was engulfed by flames.

“It made a huge noise here,” said witness Ellen Minor.

Allen Escuage said he was dockside, next to the Bahia Mar Hotel, when flames started to shoot from the private yacht.

“We were sitting here cleaning fish, heard a pop and saw debris go into the air,” he said.

According to witnesses, someone was cleaning the vessel right before the fire sparked.

“Then we saw the guy walk out of the boat and lie on the ground,” said Escuage, “and we ran over there, and the boat was in flames.”

Escuage and a friend rushed to help the wounded man.

“They had a fire hose on the dock,” he recounted. “Me and another guy grabbed the hose, ran to the boat and tried to get it out.”

Rescue crews transported the victim to Broward Health Medical Center to be treated for first-degree burns.

“He was good. He was walking, talking. He just has some burns,” said Minor. “Scared, yeah and the dog’s OK.”

Other boats that were at risk of catching fire were moved away.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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