Fire engulfs yachts at Fort Lauderdale refit yard

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A 161-ft. Trinity and 107-Christensen go up in flames early Saturday morning in Fort Lauderdale. Courtesy Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue

A 161-ft. Trinity and 107-Christensen go up in flames early Saturday morning in Fort Lauderdale. Courtesy Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue

Two luxury superyachts went up in flames on early Saturday morning at Universal Marine Center in Fort Lauderdale. Broward County firefighters responded at about 4:30 a.m. and spent four hours battling the fire.

According to a story in the Triton, the two yachts were Lohengrin, a 161-foot Trinity and Reflection, a 107-foot Christensen. Both yachts were in for refit work and were under scaffolding. Firefighters estimate the damage at $20 million—one yacht was valued between $16 million and $18 million, and the other between $2 million and $4 million.

“The first pictures showed the whole thing on fire,” Deputy Fire Chief Jeffrey A. Lucas told the Triton as the fire raged early Saturday. “The aluminum burned at about 1,100 degrees and melted creating an umbrella that’s not allowing us to penetrate to put out the fire. We’ll continue to fight.”

Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue and fire boats also came on scene, using foam and water to fight the fire. “The scaffolding is leaning and we cannot put people under there to fight this,” Lucas said. “There is no reason to risk life, the vessels are damaged.”

The fire was eventually put out by about 10:30 a.m., though firefighters remained for about 24 hours to make sure no hotspots ignited.

Universal Marine Center’s general manager Laurent Bensoussan told the Triton that nobody was injured. He said the yard had had its regular fire maintenance two weeks earlier. The yachts were scheduled to leave within the next three weeks. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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