Shrimp trawler rescues boater from burning yacht off southern Norway

Hellevig, later renamed Pilot, in 2015 (Photo: Terje Finstad)

A Good Samaritan vessel came to the aid of a boater whose yacht had caught fire off the southern Norwegian town of Mandal on the night (local time) of Wednesday, October 21.

Lennart Danielsen, captain of the trawler Pilot, was sailing for home after having landed a catch of shrimp when he noticed that a nearby yacht he had located earlier using his vessel’s chart plotter had inexplicably disappeared.

Mr Danielsen said he then contacted a coastal radio station, which then advised him of a vessel on fire not far from the yacht’s last reported position.

The trawler captain said he then saw a bright light on the horizon and began sailing toward it upon realising that it was the burning vessel mentioned by the radio operator.

The other vessel was already engulfed in flames by the time Pilot arrived at the scene around 15 minutes later.

The yacht’s lone occupant was found adrift in a life raft floating nearby. Mr Danielsen then pulled the boater out of the life raft and onto his own vessel.

The fisherman said the boater was in shock but was otherwise unharmed when he was brought aboard the trawler.

The survivor was later turned over to the crew of a lifeboat despatched by the Hovedredningssentralen (HRS) rescue service.

The yacht was reportedly still in flames as it sank later that evening.

An initial investigation by the HRS revealed that the fire had been caused by an explosion that occurred just as the boater restarted his engine after replacing a clogged oil filter.

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