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Phocea yacht fire: seven crew rescued

by Wire Services 18 Feb 20:01 PST
s/y Phocea, on fire in Langkawi © SYT

The 75.13-metre sailing yacht Phocea, formerly Enigma, formerly Alain Colas's solo transat racer, Club Medirerranée, caught fire yesterday morning (18 February 2021) in Langkawi, Malaysia. While at anchor less than one nautical mile northeast of Pulau Singa Kecil (Lion Island), the 530 GT yacht was attended to by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), who rescued seven crewmembers who are reported to be safe and uninjured.

Once the fire was detected by a local patrol vessel, rescuers from the Malaysian Maritime 6 FLASH boat began fighting the flames and have been continuing to do so despite strong wind conditions. Kedah and Perlis MMEA director, Maritime First Admiral Mohd Zawawi Abdullah, said in a statement that the weather was making the operation “difficult." "No oil spill was reported and we will continue monitoring the situation," he added. The team have been tending to the fire since 08.18 local time.

In a statement issued by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency states: "The Malaysian Maritime 6 FLASH Boat has been mobilised to the scene to provide proper assistance and also distribute information of the incident to the Navy at Royal Malaysia (TLDM), the Marine Police Force (PPM) Department of Fire Department and Rescue of Malaysia (JBPM), the Malaysian Sea Department and The Department of Environment for assistance. Assets from other agencies, KD Mahamiru and RHIB Boats from TLDM, PA 4 Boats from PPM and MV Suhail from the Malaysian Sea Department together with the Malaysian Fire Department are also on hand to extinguish the fire."

Enigma was built as a single-handed race yacht in 1976 to the design of Tim Heywood and interior designer Beiderbecks. After crossing the Atlantic in 1976, she was converted to a cruise ship by her original builders, the French shipyard DCAN.

She was refitted by Lürssens in 1999/2000. The yacht was again sold in 2010 to her current owners. Enigma accommodates 12 guests in a master suite, one VIP, two double and two twin cabins, and sleeps up to 23 crew members.

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