Kurt Roll, a local boat captain and videographer caught the massive fire that destroyed the 102-foot expedition yacht, Polar Bear, on aerial video Thursday morning.
Roll was flying his DJI quadcopter nearby when he and some friends spotted the plume of smoke rising in the distance. The footage provides a unique look at the devastation the yacht sustained.
"I filmed this approximately 10-15 minutes after the fire started. I was filming a friends boat in south bay close by when we saw the smoke coming from The Marine Group's yard. This was fascinating to watch through my monitor, but having a boat myself, I couldn’t help thinking of how horrible it would be to have your dream boat go up in flames," Roll wrote in the video's description.
The yacht, built and launched by Citadel in 2011 is worth an estimated $24 million and belongs to a retired electrical engineer name Larry Jodsass.
Jodsass, a Minnesota native, reportedly learned of the incident through internet videos posted the morning of the fire.
"Am I angry? No. Anger is not the right word," Jodsass told NBC 7 San Diego. "It was my toy, my wonderful, beautiful piece of equipment. I think it's the most beautiful boat that ever has been built."
The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation, though authorities confirm welding workers were aboard when the fire began.
“I don’t have enough data to make any positive or negative comment as to why somebody who’s doing their job obviously didn’t get it done because it would not have caught on fire,” Jodsass said. Jodsass added that the fire took something away from him that he truly loved and valued and he wont stop asking questions until he gets answers.
The fire was contained and did not spread to any nearby boats or structures, though Polar Bear was, needless to say, heavily damaged.