Loews Yacht Fire Incident
March 24, 2011
Local Press Release
On March 24, 2011, multiple fire agencies assisted Coronado Fire Department on a large yacht fire at the Loews Hotel’s marina. The yacht that was initially involved was a 55 ft. yacht named “Ocean Ventures” in slip B13. The owner stated he was asleep below deck when he woke to a smell he described as electrical. His wife was in the galley and his son was in his own stateroom. He thought the smell was possibly from the electric heater so he disconnected it, but the boat kept filling with smoke. He then cut the 100 amp power on the boat, but stated there was heavy smoke continuing to come from the aft, starboard area of the boat, so they evacuated.
Firefighters Glen Orr, Kevin Roof and Captain Darren Hall battle the blaze.
Truck 37 arrived on scene to find a boat charged with smoke. Truck 37 confirmed Harbor Police was en route prior to arriving on scene. Upon making entry to the marina, the original boat became fully engulfed in flames and was rapidly spreading to nearby boats. Truck 37 prepared for fire attack and protected and attempted to protect exposures on the west and east side of the original boat. Truck 37 requested a second alarm and continued to protect exposures and attack the main fires on both boats.
The boat to the east of the “Ocean Venture” a wooden yacht similar in size, was down wind of the involved boat and soon also became involved in fire. This boat sustained heavy fire damage. Two other boats (on either side of the two involved) sustained heat and smoke damage to the exposed sides. The “Ocean Venture” burned to the water line and eventually sank. The Coast Guard came on scene and they handled the environmental issues caused by the submerged boat. There were no injuries sustained by responding personnel or civilians. In all there were about 30 Fire personnel who responded from Coronado, Imperial Beach, Chula Vista, San Diego and Federal Fire. There were also two fire boats from Harbor Police that assisted in fire attack. Cause and origin of the fire was not determined due to the sinking of the boat, which made it impossible to conduct an investigation.
Craig Weaver (IBFD) and Larry Hougueisson (CFD) pictured above.
One of the reasons for a successful outcome with minimal loss to boats, based on rapid fire conditions, was the fact that Coronado Fire Department had recently completed training on this exact scenario, a week before the incident. Members of Coronado Fire Department coordinated a three day Marina/Boat fire drill that was hosted by the Loews Hotel. The Coronado Fire Department worked closely with the Hotel staff and other fire agencies involved in the actual fire. The Department was able to pre-plan a large-scale incident at the Loews, work though potential challenges ahead of time and focus on coordinating firefighting efforts in a large vessel at the dock. Little did they know, a short time later, they would put their skills to the test. Crews implemented the exact plan, which minimized potential collateral damage to other nearby exposed boats.
Submitted by Division Chief Dan Mastro and Fire Captain Darren Hall
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