Video and Photo gallery: Dramatic scenes unveil as boat off Yarmouth bursts into flames

An RAF Wattisham search and rescue helicopter rescuing man from wind farm vessel after fire broke out in the engine room. January 20, 2014. Photo by reader Keith Styles. An RAF Wattisham search and rescue helicopter rescuing man from wind farm vessel after fire broke out in the engine room. January 20, 2014. Photo by reader Keith Styles.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014
2:25 PM

A man has been airlifted to hospital by an RAF helicopter after a boat caught fire off Great Yarmouth.

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An RAF Wattisham search and rescue helicopter rescuing man from wind farm vessel after fire broke out in the engine room. January 20, 2014. Photo by reader Keith Styles.An RAF Wattisham search and rescue helicopter rescuing man from wind farm vessel after fire broke out in the engine room. January 20, 2014. Photo by reader Keith Styles.

Six fire engines, police, paramedics, coastguards and lifeboat crews were called to South Quay just before 8.30am today.

The wind farm support vessel Norfolk Tern, with six crew on board, called the Humber coastguard just after 8am after a fire broke out in the vessel’s starboard engine. It was four nautical miles off Yarmouth.

One crew member suffering from smoke inhalation was winched on board the RAF Wattisham search and rescue helicopter and taken to James Paget University Hospital (JPH) in Gorleston for treatment.

The five remaining crew managed to get the blaze under control and bring the boat back to shore where emergency crews were waiting near Haven Bridge.

Norfolk Tern at South QuayNorfolk Tern at South Quay

The Lowestoft and Gorleston Coastguard Rescue Teams and RNLI all-weather lifeboats from Lowestoft and Gorleston were also sent to the scene, while Port Chaplain for Great Yarmouth, the Revd Peter Paine, visited the crewman at the JPH.

Bev Allen, watch manager at Humber Coastguard, said: “All six on board this vessel managed to quickly bring the fire under control, but one member of the crew was in need of medical attention after showing signs of breathing in too much smoke.

“The standby vessel Vos Discovery also provided excellent support in transferring oxygen for the injured person.”

The latest call-out comes just six days after three men were rescued when a 15m vessel, called the ECC Topaz, caught fire in the North Sea off Lowestoft last Tuesday.

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