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Old 19-06-2017, 00:05   #1
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3 Yachts set on fire - Panama City

I just received a message from Mack Robertson on the Cruisers_Network_Online@yahoogroups.com

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I just got a video of 3 yachts that were set on fire at the Balboa Yacht Club in Panama City, Panama.

I had heard they were getting ready to shut down the BYC, but have no additional information on this event.
Here is the video he emailed.
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Old 19-06-2017, 01:34   #2
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Re: 3 Yachts set on fire - Panama City

Wow, that's new...
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Old 19-06-2017, 04:30   #3
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Re: 3 Yachts set on fire - Panama City

Wow. I live in Panama (but in the far W end of the country). First Ive heard of this!

When the YC on the Atlantic end was closed it was pretty unceremonious...the bulldozers showed up.
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Old 19-06-2017, 04:40   #4
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Re: 3 Yachts set on fire - Panama City

From what Ive been able to find so far, it appears that the boats were not "set on fire" (implying a deliberate act), but rather a fire started on one and spread. Also Ive heard nothing about BYC being shut down.

Posted video wont play for me.

Anyone on the Pacific end who can confirm any of this?
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Old 19-06-2017, 08:01   #5
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Re: 3 Yachts set on fire - Panama City

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
From what Ive been able to find so far, it appears that the boats were not "set on fire" (implying a deliberate act), but rather a fire started on one and spread. Also Ive heard nothing about BYC being shut down.

Posted video wont play for me.

Anyone on the Pacific end who can confirm any of this?
Based on the video, the boats were all separated by at least 50 feet.
Fire does not spread well on water.
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Old 19-06-2017, 08:09   #6
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Re: 3 Yachts set on fire - Panama City

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Originally Posted by taxwizz View Post
Based on the video, the boats were all separated by at least 50 feet.
Fire does not spread well on water.
Fifty feet is not a lot of separation. I've seen two boat fires in my life. One of them was at my marina and it started on a boat just over 60 feet in length. It soon spread to other boats and the docks. It sank the fifty-five foot yacht in the slip next to it and damaged others. It also filled the office building next to the marina with thick, acrid smoke, causing it to get a certificate of non-occupancy until the HVAC systems were properly cleaned.

Fire can spread rapidly and burning embers can quickly spread the fire to other facilities and vessels. Additionally, fire can spread quickly on the water, or more accurately, burning fluids such as gas or oil, can be moved by wind and current much more quickly than most realize.
I'll post a link to the fire as soon as I can find it.

Here's the link. Note that this is somewhat early in the fire and the fifty-five foot boat next to it hasn't yet caught on fire, although if you look carefully the dock has just started to burn. Luckily I was two docks away and down wind! The good news was that there were no fatalities. Sadly for the boat owner, he was in the middle of a divorce and the authorities went through his life with a fine tooth comb making sure it wasn't arson so she didn't get the boat. It turns out it wasn't arson, but for a few weeks he had the added misery of being a suspect.

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Old 19-06-2017, 08:12   #7
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Re: 3 Yachts set on fire - Panama City

sorry to hear of closing. best haulout facilities I've ever used...including U.S.
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Old 19-06-2017, 08:13   #8
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Re: 3 Yachts set on fire - Panama City

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Originally Posted by ArmyDaveNY View Post
Fifty feet is not a lot of separation. I've seen two boat fires in my life. One of them was at my marina and it started on a boat just over 60 feet in length. It soon spread to other boats and the docks. It sank the fifty-five foot yacht in the slip next to it and damaged others. It also filled the office building next to the marina with thick, acrid smoke, causing it to get a certificate of non-occupancy until the HVAC systems were properly cleaned.

Fire can spread rapidly and burning embers can quickly spread the fire to other facilities and vessels. Additionally, fire can spread quickly on the water, or more accurately, burning fluids such as gas or oil, can be moved by wind and current much more quickly than most realize.
I'll post a link to the fire as soon as I can find it.
OK. I am possibly corrected.
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Old 19-06-2017, 08:18   #9
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Re: 3 Yachts set on fire - Panama City

The Balboa Yacht Club is in no immediate danger of closure. It is specifically protected within the Torrijos Carter treaty.
As for these 3 vessels, one caught fire and drifted on to the others. There is minor infrastructural damage also.
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Old 19-06-2017, 08:42   #10
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Re: 3 Yachts set on fire - Panama City

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Originally Posted by taxwizz View Post
Based on the video, the boats were all separated by at least 50 feet.
Fire does not spread well on water.
Spreads fine via air though...50' is disturbingly close to a boat fire...been there.
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Old 19-06-2017, 08:46   #11
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Re: 3 Yachts set on fire - Panama City

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Originally Posted by dick sargent View Post
sorry to hear of closing. best haulout facilities I've ever used...including U.S.
Hang on. The first post insuated arson, which does not appear to be the case, and closing rumors. Given the apparently inaccurate arson claim, Im not inclined to believe the comment about closing. I was just at BYC about a month ago and it was biz as usual.

Who actually has factual first hand info about the fire or BYC closure rumors?
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Old 19-06-2017, 08:54   #12
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Re: 3 Yachts set on fire - Panama City

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Originally Posted by tiopirata View Post
The Balboa Yacht Club is in no immediate danger of closure. It is specifically protected within the Torrijos Carter treaty.
As for these 3 vessels, one caught fire and drifted on to the others. There is minor infrastructural damage also.
Tio Pirata (&#128518, are you there or know someone who is?

(Im just trying to confirm or squash what was implied in the OP).
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Old 19-06-2017, 09:01   #13
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Re: 3 Yachts set on fire - Panama City

From the blog of SV Milou - S/V Milou – family sailing on a beneteau first 38

Update: three boats destroyed–two sport fishing boats and one sailboat. The sport fishing boat that caught on fire initially had a guy sleeping on it; he swam to safety, and was hospitalized for smoke inhalation. When the fire reached the mooring lines, the boat drifted into the other two boats, and then against the pier, near the gas dock.

All three boats were eventually towed, still aflame, towards shore, where they were still smoldering this morning. The pier has already been repaired. The only other injury we heard about were broken ribs from a spectator, who fell down some steps.
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Old 19-06-2017, 09:21   #14
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Re: 3 Yachts set on fire - Panama City

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Originally Posted by Delancey View Post
From the blog of SV Milou - S/V Milou – family sailing on a beneteau first 38

Update: three boats destroyed–two sport fishing boats and one sailboat. The sport fishing boat that caught on fire initially had a guy sleeping on it; he swam to safety, and was hospitalized for smoke inhalation. When the fire reached the mooring lines, the boat drifted into the other two boats, and then against the pier, near the gas dock.

All three boats were eventually towed, still aflame, towards shore, where they were still smoldering this morning. The pier has already been repaired. The only other injury we heard about were broken ribs from a spectator, who fell down some steps.
Yeah, just read that post. Sounds like we can lay to rest the implied arson ("...3 boats set on fire...").

Sounds like it was just a fairly typical boat fire...where one lights up the others.
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Old 19-06-2017, 15:36   #15
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Re: 3 Yachts set on fire - Panama City

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Tio Pirata (&#128518, are you there or know someone who is?

(Im just trying to confirm or squash what was implied in the OP).
I am there most days, I work there frequently. I live nearby also
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