Boat catches fire in Hamilton harbour
Two occupants abandoned ship, were picked up by police
Two people are safely ashore after their boat caught fire at Carroll's Point in Hamilton Harbour Wednesday afternoon.
The two occupants abandoned the 30-foot sailboat after they failed to put the fire out, according to Hamilton police Staff Sgt. Jamie Moore.
The owner of the boat and his friend were picked up by the police and dropped off at the Macassa Bay Yacht Club, according to Bill Mitchell, a commodore at the club. The boat docks at the club.
John Modesto, a member of the Macassa Bay Yacht Club, said he saw the two victims as they arrived at the marina.
One of the men, a longtime club member, did not appear to be in distress, but his clothing showed obvious burns, Modesto said.
“I told him he’d better go to the hospital because his clothing was sticking to his skin.”
Modesto said the man was a longtime member whose Hughes 31 sailboat, Dusty Dawn, had been based at the club for at least 30 years.
When the police's marine unit responded to the incident, it couldn't get close to the boat because it was anchored in shallow water only about three feet deep.
The fire was likely caused by electric malfunction and did not appear to be suspicious, Moore added.
The boat is described to be "completely destroyed" and damage is about $25,000 to $30,000.
The marine unit stood by alongside the boat as it burned. The Hamilton Fire Department did not respond, as that part of the bay is outside its jurisdiction.