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YORK BOAT FIRE: Investigators must wait for answers
3:44pm Monday 30th September 2013 in News
THE fire which destroyed a boat on the River Ouse in York is likely to remain a mystery for at least a week.
David Watson, fire safety manager at York fire station, said he would be “very, very surprised” if the ruined and partially-submerged shell of the luxury craft could be removed from the water at Kings Staith this week.
He said a licence would be needed to allow for the removal operation, which would include steps to try to prevent debris and pollutants falling into the water.
He said until the 47-ft boat was on dry land, it would be impossible for fire investigation experts to examine the wreckage and try to discover what started the blaze on Saturday evening.
The Environment Agency said the boat owner was responsible for its removal.
“In this specific case, the insurance firm has instructed a salvage company to remove the remains of the boat,” said a spokesman.
“In order to do this, they will obtain consent from the Canals and Rivers Trust. They are also going to carry out a pre-salvage diver survey to assess any environmental risks that could be posed by the removal. When the salvage takes place, the Environment Agency will be present to oversee environmental protection.”
Thirty-five firefighters tackled the inferno and searched the burning vessel following reports that people might be on board. Nearby properties were evacuated and Ouse Bridge closed.
The owners of the boat, which was called Silver C of York, are understood to have lived on board but have been too upset to talk about what happened.