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Boat Fail: $24m superyacht fire caught on drone camera

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Local authorities suspect a welding accident caused this huge blaze, and one quick-thinking local skipper caught the fire on camera

There’s nothing more devastating for a boatowner than seeing your pride and joy go up in flames, but Larry Jodsass got a better view than most boat fire victims.

The 79-year-old retired entrepreneur lost his 31m superyacht ‘Polar Bear’ to an enormous fire last month (19 June), which local authorities suspect was caused by a welding accident.

The blaze was so large that it could be seen from all across Chula Vista harbour in San Diego, and quick-thinking skipper Kurt Roll launched his drone camera to take a closer look.

From the point of view of the remote-controlled gadget, we are treated to an excruciating close-up of the demise of ‘Polar Bear’.

Since the footage was uploaded to YouTube last month, it has received more than 1.8 million views, and it’s not hard to see why.

The vessel was valued at $24m (£14m) when it was launched just three years ago, and understandably Mr Jodsass was distraught:

“Am I angry? No. Anger is not the right word. It was my toy, my wonderful, beautiful piece of equipment,” he told NBC San Diego. “I think it’s the most beautiful boat that ever has been built.”

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