In an official statement the Italian yard said the likely cause of the fire was down to a set of circumstances that included inadequate preparation for storms. It is thought lightning and electricity in the atmosphere during a massive overnight storm started the fire on board the 56m motoryacht in late stages of construction.
“The protection against extraordinary electrical shocks, including thunder storms in operation when a yacht is in commissioning was not yet [activated],” it stated.
Benetti, celebrating 140 years of boat-building this year, says it has now taken drastic measures to prevent another extreme case happening.
"The sense of responsibility and the passion of the Benetti team, will make us learn from such an extreme case and reinforce the team commitment, to continue to build as we did in the last 140 years beautiful Benetti's sailing worldwide," said Vincenzo Poerio, CEO of Azimut Benetti Megayacht division.
The yard says that no one was sleeping on board the yacht the night of the storm, which was another contributing factor to the fire developing, as “no one could hear the alarms.”
The fire on the FB261, a Benetti 56m yacht in the late stages of construction, was discovered in the Morosini dock area inside the boatyard in Livorno Via Edda Fagni at 7am on Tuesday 20 August. It is thought an unexpectedly strong electricity discharge struck the yacht during a violent overnight storm in the Tuscany region.
Images: Courtesy of La Nazione Livorno