Fire destroys 40-foot cabin cruiser at Oak Bay Marina

A 40-foot cabin cruiser called Lonely Bird went up in flames at Oak Bay Marina early Wednesday, threatening other boats.

“Flames were visible stem to stern,” said Oak Bay Assistant Fire Chief Cam Thomson.

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Calls about multiple boats on fire in the marina in the 1300-block of Beach Drive came in at 4:37 a.m., but firefighters found a single vessel on fire at the end of G dock. Members need a passcode to get onto the docks.

Oak Bay firefighters, assisted by Saanich and Victoria firefighters, helped put out the flames aboard the diesel-engine boat. The Canadian Coast Guard also responded. No one was aboard and no injuries were reported.

The fire was “labour intensive,” said the assistant chief, because a 2 1Ú2-inch water hose had to be stretched from a fire hydrant in the parking lot down the length of the dock, since the boat was at the end of the pier.

Fighting the fire from the water was considered, but in the end, the hose proved more timely. When it was brought to the end of the dock, the fire was contained quickly, said Oak Bay Deputy Chief Darren Lee.

The boat’s location helped keep the fire’s spread to a minimum.

“We’re lucky the vessel was right at the end of the dock,” said Thomson, adding a neighbouring boat suffered minor heat damage.

The owner of Lonely Bird was contacted, but was headed out of town on Wednesday. It’s not known when the owner was last on the vessel or what, if any, heat sources were aboard the boat.

The boat was destroyed and is too unsafe to board for investigation, said Thomson. A salvage company will remove the vessel.

The cause of the blaze is unknown.

ceharnett@timescolonist.com

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