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Fire Destroys Superyacht at Luxe Resort Destination Near Ibiza

The burning remains of the Irmao towed away from a busy anchorage off Formentera (Salvamento Maritimo)
The burning remains of the Irmao towed away from a busy anchorage off Formentera (Salvamento Maritimo)

Published Aug 14, 2023 3:04 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Saturday, a major fire broke out aboard the yacht Irmao just off the coast of a resort town on Formentera, resulting in the vessel's destruction.

The Irmao was anchored within sight of beachfront restaurants in the Cavall d'en Borras district on the island's north side, and was reportedly visible from nearby Ibiza. The area is a luxury vacation destination and is known to attract celebrities, including Leonardo DiCaprio.  

At about 1800 hours on Saturday evening, a fire broke out towards the stern. Five crewmembers and 12 passengers abandoned ship over the side, and all were rescued by nearby good samaritan vessels. One crewmember sustained minor burn injuries, according to local media. 

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As is common for fires aboard fiberglass-hulled vessels, the hull and superstructure caught fire along with the vessel's interior. Videos taken from the scene show the combustion of the hull progressing down towards the vessel's waterline, a typical mechanism of sinking in a fiberglass fire. 

According to Salvamento Maritimo, the rescue boat Salvamar Acrux responded to the scene and rigged a tow to remove the yacht from the anchorage area, but the stricken vessel sank while under way. It went down in shallow waters near Punta de la Pedrera, far from the beach. No oil pollution is expected. According to the local council, some floating debris and other polluting elements (like battery residues) could still be released from the wreck.

Irmao was owned by the professional poker player Diego Gómez González, also known as "The Lion." The 90-foot vessel was built in 1995 and was available for charter at a rate of about $50,000 per week during peak season.