UPDATE @ 11.00am | WATER Police have confirmed eight people are safe and well after their private boat caught fire off the Gold Coast.
Senior Sergeant Jay Notaro said the skipper heard a loud bang while the group was out whale watching earlier this morning.
“He’s gone into the engine room to inspect the cause of that bang.. has opened up the switch board.. at that time he’s opened up the switch board it has immediately combusted and a fire has broken out,” Senior Sergeant Jay Notaro said.
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He said the skipper acted quickly to get everyone on to an inflatable raft.
“He has got everyone together onto the tender and from there has made a distress call and emergency services have responded to it.
“Initially it was only contained to the engine room but obviously it has become engulfed.”
It was confirmed a local couple owned the vessel and had decided to take out some friends, visiting from Germany, out on the water to try and catch a glimpse of migrating whales.
“Fortunately this is a good news story. The people are all well, no injuries at all, and are in quite good spirits actually,” Senior Sergeant Jay Notaro added.
“It certainly could have ended in tragedy.”
It’s understood the ages of those on board ranged from 13 to 78 years old.
The boat has completely sunk and is not salvageable. Authorities say that will make it difficult to determine the cause of the blaze but initial inquiries suggest it was an electrical fault.
EARLIER @ 10.30am | A number of people, who were on board a boat that burst into flames off the Gold Coast, have been brought back to shore.
Eight people were on board the vessel when it suddenly caught fire around 9.30am.
The Queensland Ambulance Service has since confirmed all have arrived safely back to shore with “nil serious injuries”.
It’s understood they managed to quickly get into a life boat before the vessel was completely gutted by the fire.
It is still unclear what caused the blaze.
EARLIER @ 9.50AM | A NUMBER of people have had to be rescued after a whale watching boat caught fire off the Gold Coast.
Police have confirmed they received a call around 9.30am that a boat, which is believed to be used for whale watching, had caught fire several kilometres off Main Beach.
It’s believed at least eight people were on board the boat at the time but managed to get into an emergency life boat before the craft was completely engulfed in flames.
Queensland Ambulance has confirmed they are on their way to the scene, however no injuries have been reported at this stage.
#MainBeach – QAS responding to a reported boat fire off the coast at 9:28am.
— Queensland Ambulance (@QldAmbulance) August 6, 2019
Crews are still on scene managing the blaze.
It remains unclear what sparked the fire, which could be seen by residents from several kilometres away.