On 22 September footage appeared on various social media platforms that showed 35m M/Y Moon, built by the Turkish shipyard Eser Yat in 2000, on fire at the Al Hamra Marina, Ras Al Khaimah, U.A.E. The extent of the damage is yet to be confirmed, but the footage itself shows that a significant portion of the vessel has been destroyed; it seems likely that this incident will result in Moon becoming a total loss to her owner. No casualties have been reported.
Firefighters’ early efforts to extinguish the fire within the marina proved to be unsuccessful, at which point Moon was tugged out to sea in order to prevent any further damage to vessels in its vicinity, or indeed the marina itself.
There has undoubtedly been an upturn in the number of yacht fires in recent times and, considering that we are still only in September, eight reported losses is a significant figure - almost five more than the average (3.3) between 2010 and 2015, as shown in Figure 1.
There are a number of theories that attempt to explain this upturn. More often than not it is reported, or at least assumed, that the fires begin as a result of electrical faults, with many suggesting that the high levels of customisation associated with superyachts can lead to electrical and engineering errors. Other, more skeptical sources, suggest that the increase in yachts fires is a hangover from the global financial crisis, although there is no tangible evidence to support this.