Tourist boat catches fire and sinks near Paxos
PAXOS. The four people on board were safely rescued by another boat.
The tourist dinghy 'Orca' caught fire on Saturday evening north-east of the northern entrance to Gaios (Paxos) new port. There were four people on board. The boat was a professional dinghy with fibreglass hull - a skipper's licence is required to rent this type of vessel.
Witnesses who were at the port said that fire broke out following an explosion about 400 metres from the port of Gaios. According to the Mayor of Paxos Spyros Vlachopoulos, the four people on board dived into the sea and were picked up by the vessel 'Glaros' which was in the vicinity. All four are well.
Other vessels immediately rushed to the area - two Port Authority patrol boats, the private vessel 'Flying Dutchman' under the Italian flag with members of the Port Authority Fire Service and another private vessel with firefighters on board. The 'Orca' sank to a depth of 100 metres 1 nautical mile from the port..
There was some sea pollution which was dissolved by the Port Authority vessels.
Corfu Central Port Authority is conducting an investigation.