Senior police officer told a local newspaper in Phuket that the 56metre vessel with 7 staterooms and a range of  13,000 nautical miles was full of fuel estimated at 100,000 litres.

The fire aboard the ฿126 million superyacht the Lady D in Phuket is understood to have begun in the engine room of the yacht on Wednesday morning shortly before 8 am. Thai police are investigating the cause of the fire which firefighters at the Ao Por Grand Marina in Thalang fought for over 3 hours. The luxury yacht was towed yesterday to Ko Nang island off Phuket in the interests of public safety.

The fire onboard the superyacht Lady D, moored at a marina in the Thalang area of Phuket broke out before 8 am on Wednesday and initially the lone crew member tried to contain it using a fire extinguisher. Later firefighters were called and after more than three hours (inset centre), Phuket authorities decided to tow the superyacht out to sea in the interests of safety. The Canadian skipper of the Lady D, 60-year-old Captain Ted Blenkers (inset top right) who lives in Phuket but who was out of Thailand, was contacted by police and informed of developments.

Authorities in Phuket took the decision yesterday to tow a 56-metre superyacht into the sea and away from a local marina after firefighters spent hours trying to bring a blaze on the vessel under control but to no avail. The yacht named as the Lady D, was reported to be containing full tank of fuel and this was a decisive factor in the decision to abandon fire fighting activity to save the yacht at the Ao Por Grand Marina in the Thalang area of Phuket.

Phuket’s governor on-site as well as senior officials

Phuket’s Governor Pakkapong Thawiwat was actively involved in the evolving situation as well as senior officials with the police, fire department and marine authorities. He was also joined by the municipal leader and the district head for Thalang Adul Chuthong. The governor was at the scene as firefighters struggled to bring the blaze under control despite appearances at some points that they were winning the battle. 

Fire broke out before 8 am on Wednesday

The fire on the yacht is reported to have broken out sometime before 8 am on Wednesday and was noticed by the lone crew member aboard the Lady D. He tried to control the flames with a fire extinguisher but finally called in local fire fighting crews from Pa Krok sub-district in Phuket.

Firefighters experienced a delay getting pumps and water hoses to work at the marina

It is reported that because the yacht was moored at an extremity within the marina, that firefighters had initial difficulties accessing water and getting down to the business of fighting the fire on the yacht. One observer said it took some time to get the pumps and hoses working after the fire crews arrived at the marina at 8.25 am. Eventually up to a dozen firefighters were involved in the operation with some going aboard the vessel wearing oxygen masks. Firefighters were urged to be careful at the scene particularly those entering the vessel.

Police investigation into the fire on the luxury superyacht valued at ฿126 million 

It is reported that police in Phuket have launched an investigation into the cause of the fire which is deemed to be suspicious. It is believed that the fire started in the engine room of the superyacht. The Lady D was valued at approximately $4 million or ฿126 million.

The vessel was initially launched in 1976 and at one time was owned by the US Coast Guard before being refitted as a luxury yacht in 1989 and given an engine upgrade in 2005. The large yacht was quite luxurious and accommodated up to 20 guests and 14 crew. It is reported to have been registered in the United Kingdom and as belonging to an investment company.

The Lady D had seven luxurious staterooms and a large range of 13,000 nautical miles making it a global yacht.

Captain, a Canadian living in Phuket but out of Thailand on Wednesday, informed of the fire

The vessel had recently returned from Langkawi in Malaysia and was not manned except for the one crew member who discovered the fire. When the fire broke out on Wednesday morning, the long-serving Phuket based Captain of the Lady D, Ted Blenkers, a Canadian, is believed not to have been in Thailand as well as the yacht’s owner. Phuket police, however, revealed that they had made contact with Captain Blenkers to inform him of the circumstances.

60 year old Canadian made waves in 2013 over illegal importation of corals

The 60-year-old Canadian yacht captain made waves himself in 2013 when he was arrested by Thai police in Phuket for illegally importing coral from Indonesia. It followed a tip-off from a member of the public in Phuket who saw the coral being loaded by Mr Blenkers into a Bangkok registered van.

Decision to tow the boat out to sea due to fear of secondary events and safety concerns

The decision to tow the boat out to sea on Wednesday and abandon ongoing fire fighting efforts was taken just before midday by top officials. It is reported that authorities were taking the boat to an uninhabited island of Ko Nang.

Officials were concerned about the possibility of either an explosion or the fire spreading to the marina through tow ropes. This could have endangered other vessels and the marina itself. 

100,000 litres of  fuel aboard the Lady D when the fire caught on Wednesday morning

The Chief of Police for Thalang, Thirawat Lamsuwan, explained the threat to the local newspaper in Phuket, The Phuket News: ‘The yacht has about 100,000 litres of fuel onboard. It is being towed out of the marina for safety as the firefighters have not been able to bring the fire under control after three hours.’

Local authorities while saddened by the demise of the beautiful yacht, a familiar presence in Phuket, will be comforted that no one was injured by the fire and brave attempts to bring it under control. They put safety first.

฿126 million superyacht the Lady D in Phuket destroyed

+ Phuket authorities decided to tow the ฿126 million superyacht the Lady D out to sea on Wednesday in Phuket as firefighters struggled to control flames on the vessel that broke out at 8 am. Morris reports from Thalang in Phuket

Posted by on Thursday, August 8, 2019