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Arsonists torch derelict boat

PUBLISHED: 23:12 03 June 2005 | UPDATED: 05:54 02 March 2010

A FIRE which tore through a derelict boat on the fore shore at Pin Mill today is being treated as suspicious by police.

Fire crews spent more than five hours tackling the blaze after the alert was sounded at around 3.

A FIRE which tore through a derelict boat on the fore shore at Pin Mill today is being treated as suspicious by police.

Fire crews spent more than five hours tackling the blaze after the alert was sounded at around 3.30am.

Two gas canisters on board the wooden 70ft Scottish trawler – named Rainbow – exploded shortly after the first crew arrived. Four more were later safely retrieved.

The boat is situated 500 metres along from The Butt and Oyster pub on the shore of the south bank of the River Orwell.

A crew from Holbrook and two from Princes Street attended the fire to find the boat well alight with the stern of the boat collapsed.

Two other derelict boats nearby were not touched by the flames. The nearest inhabited houseboat is around 50 yards away.

Assistant divisional fire officer Karl Rolfe said the incoming tide had forced them back.

He said: "The fire was very difficult to get to as we had to trek through the dark along a winding path before we could get to it.

"We haven't been able to fight the fire onboard because the structure is so unsafe, so we used the boat next to it as cover.

"If we have to come back after the tide goes out again, we will."

Tania Avery, a Pin Mill houseboat resident, said: "It's a beautiful boat. It's been there for about five years after the man who bought it put it there to do some work on but broke his leg and it's been there since.

"Kids do play on the wrecks unfortunately. Over the last couple of days there have also been people with various cutting equipment removing things from it."

Police were called just after 4.45am when fire crews suspected the blaze was the work of arsonists.

A police spokeswoman said: "We can confirm we were called by the fire service after they became suspicious.

"We will be working with the fire service to try to ascertain if it was arson."

Anyone with information should call Pc John Campbell at Capel St Mary police on 01473 613500.


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