Two Megayachts Burn and Sink at Pier in Fort Lauderdale

The scaffolding that once surrounded one of the two yachts (Fort Lauderdale Fire and Rescue)

Published Nov 19, 2019 9:39 PM by The Maritime Executive

A fire at a marina in Fort Lauderdale, Florida destroyed two megayachts worth as much as a combined $24 million on Saturday. The toll makes the incident the most expensive single loss in the history of the city. 

The vessels - a 161-foot Trinity named Lohengrin and a 107’ Christiansen named Reflections - were worth an estimated $12-16 million and $6-8 million respectively, according to Fort Lauderdale Fire and Rescue. 

More than 60 firefighters responded to the scene beginning at about 0430 hours Saturday morning. Officials believe that the fire started aboard one yacht and then spread to the second with the wind, and both vessels were on fire by the time that first responders arrived. The blaze took about four hours to bring under control. No injuries were reported. 

“There was no saving either one of the yachts, but we certainly were able to contain it to just those two yachts,” Fort Lauderdale Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr told the Sun-Sentinel on Tuesday. 

One of the vessels was undergoing a refit at the time of the casualty and was surrounded by a scaffold. Once the last hot spots from the fire were extinguished, the response crew brought a crane in to remove the scaffolding so that investigations and salvage operations could proceed. According to Kerr, the remains of the yachts have sunk, and initial response efforts will focus on draining their fuel tanks to mimimize the threat of marine pollution. 

Based on initial interviews and a review of surveillance camera footage, investigators believe that the fire was accidental. 

The 2006-built Lohengrin was just sold to a new owner earlier this year, according to yachting media.