Boat ablaze on Harbour Grace wharf

Melissa Jenkins
Published on January 12, 2014

The Atlantic Navigator was on dry dock in Harbour Grace when it went up in flames Jan. 12.

©Photo by Melissa Jenkins

It's an ongoing battle in Harbour Grace tonight (Jan. 12-13), as the Carbonear and Harbour Grace fire departments are busy battling a blaze at the Harbour Grace Wharf, directly across from the Harbour Grace Motel.

The Atlantic Navigator – a 65-foot fishing vessel operated by Quinlan Brothers – was at Atlantic Enterprises (formerly Dawe`s Welding and sons) dry dock for several weeks getting work done. It had just received a new paint job and was expected to be released to the owner this coming Tuesday, said RCMP officers on scene. It is unknown at this time if there was any other work done on the vessel, but officers said there was no one on it when the fire broke out.

When fire crews from the Harbour Grace Volunteer Fire Brigade arrived on scene at 9:30 p.m., the boat was engulfed in flames. Carbonear Volunteer Fire Department was also on hand, bringing with it the regions aerial truck.

Some 30-plus firefighters orchestrated a plan to keep other vessels nearby out of harm’s way. While several firefighters fought the blaze, others doused the neighbouring boats to help prevent the spread of the fire. A continuous stream of water from a nearby hydrant was also sprayed from a long hose to the top of the aerial ladder.

Harbour Grace Fire Chief Ray Verge confirmed by 11 p.m. the exterior of the boat was no longer on fire, but the interior was.

A serious concern, Verge said, was the risk of the boat tipping toward the north onto other vessels because of the large amount of water pooled inside the bottom of the hull. Firefighters – in the midst of fighting the fire – worked to jack-up the boat so it would tip south instead. There were no boats to the south of the vessel.

Firefighters were still battling the blaze at midnight.