Six yachts sank, another remained afloat but was declared a total loss and about 12 more were damaged in a fire that swept through a private marina at Shelter Bay, a gated community near LaConner, Washington Friday night. Preliminary estimates indicated that the financial loss would exceed $1 million.
No one was injured.
Officials believe the fire started on one yacht and burned through its mooring lines. It drifted into boats nearby and the fire spread rapidly.
The marina moors about 300 boats. Most of the boat owners live in homes around the boat basin, which opens into the Swinomish Channel. Several residents launched small craft and pulled some yachts away from the fire. Area fire departments sent trucks and water tankers. The nearby city of Anacortes sent its fireboat.
The blaze erupted about 4pm and burned until after 6.
The Coast Guard sent crews to begin an investigation. The state Department of Ecology sent teams to deal with fuel in the water.
Recovery of the sunken vessels was to begin Saturday.