Investigation of cause of luxury yachts fire awaits safety clearance

The Fort Lauderdale, Florida fire brigade has not yet begun an investigation into the cause of the $24m fire that consumed two luxury yachts, the Reflection and the Lohengrin, at the weekend.

The fire caused what was thought to be the most expensive single loss in the history of the city.

The vessels were a 161ft Trinity (the Lohengrin) and a 107ft Christiansen (Reflection) and were worth an estimated $12m-$16m and $6m-$8m respectively, according to Fort Lauderdale Fire and Rescue.

The first task will be the removal of remaining hazards, followed by the removal of fuel from both vessels. They will then have to be raised so that they are no longer sitting on the bottom.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will assist in the forthcoming investigation.

There was no suspicion that the fire was anything other than accidental, but the precise cause could be hard to establish because of the extent of the damage to both vessels.

Chip McElroy ,CEO of McElroy Manufacturing in Tulsa, who had owned the Reflection for more than three years, said that the yacht was a total loss. The yacht had spent the past two weeks at the Florida marina for its annual repainting.

Fort Lauderdale Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr told the Sun-Sentinel that “there was no saving either one of the yachts, but we certainly were able to contain it to just those two yachts,”.

The 2006-built Lohengrin was just sold to a new owner earlier this year, according to yachting media.

2006-built, Marshall Islands-flagged, 470 gt Lohengrin is owned and managed by Lohengrin Ltd of Majuro, Marshall Islands.