This crabbing boat wasn’t completely gutted after catching fire yesterday. Damage was contained to the hull and main cabin.
This crabbing boat wasn’t completely gutted after catching fire yesterday. Damage was contained to the hull and main cabin. Craig Warhurst

Boat fire fuels fear

THE neighbour of a boat that caught fire at Tin Can Bay yesterday said she was scared fuel would ignite and cause the vessel – only a metre away – to explode and fire shrapnel in her direction.

Maggie Reid, whose boat is moored at the pontoon where the old Tin Can Bay public jetty used to be, was going about her business when the fire broke out about 10.30am. At the time the boat’s owner was in Gympie.

The crabbing boat sustained repairable damage to its hull and cabin after the fire started underneath the main cabin.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service Maryborough area director Craig Lovell – in charge of Tin Can Bay and Rainbow Beach’s auxiliary units – said the fire seemed to start in electrical wiring.

“We’re not 100 per cent sure what caused the fire. It looked like an electrical malfunction,” he said.

Ms Reid said she was ordered off her boat by the Tin Can Bay Coast Guard, which later towed it away.

She said after the fire was seemingly extinguished by a passer-by, it flared up again 15 minutes later and that’s when the coast guard told her to move.

“They didn’t have to tow my boat out. They could have towed that boat (the one that was on fire). It was a danger. Imagine if the thing exploded,” she said.

She said it took about 45 minutes for firefighters to arrive.

Mr Lovell said auxiliary firies from Tin Can Bay and Rainbow Beach and a crew from Gympie were on scene.

He said he wasn’t sure of the exact response times but said it was difficult for auxiliary firefighters to respond straight away because they had to leave their jobs.

“The fire was quickly under control. It was a good save,” he said.

Gympie Times


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