Two firefighters injured in battling blaze while vessel was docked near Cannes

A fire has severely damaged the 42-metre superyacht Lalibela while it was docked at Golfe-Juan to the east of Cannes earlier this month. The blaze broke out due to reasons unknown at 3am on Saturday 13th October and according to the Maritime Bulletin, will likely result in a total loss. Two crewmen were on board the vessel at the time, both of whom escaped without injury. However, a large team of firefighters were needed to extinguish the blaze, two of which suffered minor casualties in the process.

The emergency services were called to the location in the early hours of Saturday morning. By that afternoon, the fire had still not been fully dowsed and an explosion on board incapacitated two of the firefighters and caused severed ringing in their ears. The full extent of their injuries is unknown but is not believed to be serious. The yacht, however, is believed to be beyond repair; the fire completely ravaged the upper deck of the vessel and the cabins inside. It remained berthed while firefighters tackled the blaze, as neighbouring yachts were relocated to a safe distance.

The Lalibela was built by esteemed yacht builders Benetti in 1972 and renovated in 2013. She was capable of sleeping up to 12 guests in six cabins, including a master suite, three twin cabins and two doubles. There was additional space for eight crew members to man the ship and serve the needs of the guests, while there was also an ample lounge, dining area and gym facilities. The entire ship was decorated with wood panelling and elegant design throughout and catered to luxury tourists.

She was capable of speeds of up to 15 knots and carried a fuel capacity of 58,000 litres (translating into almost 2,500 nautical miles), making her “the perfect combination of performance and luxury,” according to Yacht Charter Fleet. Available for rental for approximately €75,000 per week, the Lalibela was a favourite vessel to visit such cruising hotspots as St Tropez, the Amalfi Coast and nearby Cannes. Given that the entire upper deck and much of its interior was devastated by the fire, it’s thought likely that the vessel will be written off as a total loss.