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July 18, 2005
Lifeboat tows stricken motor cruiser back to shore after fire onboard

The stricken motor cruiser was towed back to the shore by the RNLI lifeboat.

A 21-foot motor cruiser was engulfed with smoke off the Burnham-On-Sea coast at 4pm on Sunday July 17th after an electrical fault started a fire onboard.

Coastguard officer Steve Bird at Sunday's incident with RNLI and fire crews in the backgroundThere were concerns that the occupant of the vessel was in extreme danger due to the presence of 6-8 litres of petrol and a gas cylinder, so Coastguard officer Steve Bird (pictured right) called the fire service and the RNLI, who were exercising in the area at the time.

The stricken boat, called the Welkin, is owned by a Weston-super-Mare resident, Nick Germain, who was watching the Stert Island sea swim at the time of the incident.

The crew of The Staines Whitfield quickly went to the rescue and towed the craft back to the safety of Burnham Sailing Club in the River Brue where it was inspected by the fire service and Coastguard.

Fire engines on Burnham jetty during the incident.Three fire engines attended the scene and stood by on Burnham's jetty during the incident before travelling down to the Sailing Club at the southern end of The Esplanade to inspect the boat and give it the all-clear.

After the incident, Nick said: "I am properly equipped, and quickly put out the fire with my fire extinguisher, but I couldn't then safely start my engine."

He added: "The RNLI were a god-send and did their job well. The crew’s calmness and efficiency calmed me down, and I felt safe."


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