Simply because a boat is docked and, thus, completely surrounded by water, doesn’t mean it isn’t vulnerable to fire. If anything, all the fuel in a boat or that is kept nearby, can make those vessels especially vulnerable to being engulfed in flames.
Unfortunately, one man found this out the hard way when his $24 million dream boat was swallowed by fire at a boat yard in Chula Vista. On June 18th, “Polar Bear”, a yacht belonging to Larry Jodass, 79, caught fire. Jodass, who lives in Minnesota, watched the scene unravel via an online video feed.
The retired entrepreneur states it had taken him five years to build Polar Bear and it had only been finished for three. After taking the vessel to Puerto Rico this past winter, the yacht was dry docked in Chula Vista.
It was around 9:15 am that the fire started on the yacht. The fire immediately engulfed the vessel and sent plumes of smoke into the sky.
When dispatchers arrived, they found a unique challenge waiting for them. The yacht itself had plenty of fuel aboard for the flames to feed on. Not only did this keep the fire fed, it also meant responders could only get so close without risking being exposed to a potential explosion.
Furthermore, at more than 100 feet long, the yacht was a hard target to contain. This was only made worse by the fact that the fire covered just about every area.
Lastly, because the yacht was designed to keep out water, hosing the vessel down did little good. Police had to use high-powered rifles to blast its windows out, so water could be shot through the openings.
It’s believed that a welder who was working on the craft may be responsible for the damage. If so, Jodass will want to speak to a lawyer and may even have a case against the dock’s management.