A £6 million superyacht has sunk after it went up in flames on the Torquay harbourside.
Dramatic footage showed the 85ft vessel consumed by fire, with thick black smoking billowing into the sky.
The Environment Agency confirmed the yacht had sunk on Saturday afternoon and a spokesperson from Devon and Somerset Fire Service said five fire engines were at the scene tackling the blaze.
They said: “There is an 85ft motorboat on fire. Fire crews called at 11.57am.
“Five fire engines on the scene. Liaising with the harbourmaster. Please do keep away from the area.”
The yacht reportedly drifted out into the harbour after the fire burnt through ropes securing it to the pier, but the vessel was later secured by the fire service.
One witness told Devon Live that they saw explosions shortly after the fire began while another said the roaring flames were “like a fire ball”.
They said: “Ropes burnt through and it drifted into pier. Firemen took trolleys and pumps along pontoons but water not reaching.
“Some people are trapped on the other end of the pier and can’t get back. Firemen are running along the pier. Still huge flames.”
— Georgina Cleasby (@cleasbyg02) May 28, 2022
Another police statement said: “The boat is believed to be well alight and had broken from the mooring. It has now been secured by the Fire service near the pier.
“There have been no reported injuries at this time.
“Emergency services remain at the scene where the incident is ongoing.
“Due to levels of smoke and fumes we are asking residents in the area to keep their doors and windows shut at this time. Members of the public are also urged to avoid the area and beaches are being cleared by officers for public safety.”
One witness tweeted that the situtation has “escalated” as all businesses on Torquay’s front have closed.
85ft yacht in fire. A few hours ago. Things have slightly escalated since this, with whole front of Torquay now closed, including all businesses pic.twitter.com/7CmK1zNJFR
— Steve '丂ᐯ乇几' Phillips🇺🇦 (@svenoftorbaydos) May 28, 2022
According to a fire service statement, fire control received 47 calls to reports of the yacht on fire.
The fire service said that “all persons are accounted for and the immediate surrounding area has been evacuated”.
They added that the yacht contains approximately 8000 litres of diesel fuel.
Several road closures have also been put into place including the promenade and waterfront areas, Torbay Road at the junction with Rathmore Road, Belgrave Road at the junction with Chestnut Avenue and Shedden Hill at the junction with Croft Road.