Dorset

Dad uses diving gear to put out Poole Harbour yacht fire

A dog being lifted off the M/Y Juliette Image copyright David Riley/RNLI
Image caption The family and their two dogs had been embarking on a summer trip

A man used diving gear and fire extinguishers to save a burning motor yacht with his wife, young daughter, father and two dogs onboard.

Jon and Louise Stevens' family were on the M/Y Juliette approaching Poole Harbour on Saturday afternoon when fire broke out in the engine room.

Mr Stevens wore the diving gear to help him breathe as he got through 10 large fire extinguishers tackling the blaze.

His wife is recovering in hospital after breathing in smoke.

The couple from Weymouth had spent two and a half years renovating the boat which they bought as a "total wreck" in a government repossession auction advertised on Facebook.

Image copyright RNLI
Image caption Jon and Louise Stevens spent two and a half years renovating the Juliette

They had embarked on a summer trip and were nearing Poole at about 17:20 BST when Mrs Stevens said she could smell smoke.

"At first the engine room was so full of smoke I couldn't go anywhere near it but I remembered I had a set of diving equipment on board so I put that on," Mr Stevens said.

"It turned out to be an electrical fire which kept reigniting so had I not been able to get into the engine room and figure it out, it would have definitely burnt the whole boat."

He eventually put out the fire and the RNLI took the family to shore.

Mr Stevens said: "Everyone is fine. Louise is still in hospital but she is recovering. It could have been a lot worse.

"We are so grateful to the RNLI and coastguard - they were on scene within 13 minutes - it was incredible."

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