The heavily burned shell and outboards of a boat that caught fire in Lagoon Pond Wednesday afternoon were hauled ashore the morning of May 13 at Prime Marina (now Safe Harbor). The fire remains under investigation. Tisbury Fire Chief Greg Leland and Assistant Fire Chief Patrick Rolston took a look at the charred boat as it was being lifted from the water. Massachusetts Environmental Police Sgt. Scott Opie also took a look at the vessel. Chief Leland said he returned and examined the boat once it was on a trailer.
Initial witness reports indicate the fire began in the port engine, spread to the starboard engine, and quickly engulfed the boat, Leland said. The boat was owned by a patron of the marina who was having it fueled for use during the coming weekend, however the fueling never took place, Leland said. The boat was wrapped to preserve its condition for insurance inspectors and towed off to the marina’s Edgartown facility.
Tisbury’s harbor patrol boat, a loaner from the Environmental Police that’s docked immediately adjacent to where the burned boat was brought ashore, didn’t participate in the firefighting operation. Tisbury harbormaster John Crocker said he was just returning from a vacation on a Steamship Authority ferry when he saw the smoke. Oak Bluffs Deputy Fire Chief Manuel Rose said mechanical issues were the reason that the town’s vessel, Red White and Blue, didn’t attack the boat fire with its water cannon. Those issues have been fixed, he said. Leland said the firefighting took place in very shallow water — about 1.5 feet — at dead low tide.