Fire destroys Seattle passenger vessel

American Safari Cruises 12-passenger Safari Spirit was destroyed by fire at Seattle’s Fishermen’s Terminal in late April, just two weeks before its Alaska cruise season opened.

Company CEO Dan Blanchard and an engineer managed to escape the early morning blaze that consumed the 110′ yacht built in 1981 and renovated in 2004.

A cause has not been determined for the April 27 fire. Damages were estimated at $1.5 million. A company spokesman said the boat was a total loss and was fully insured.

“I was asleep in a stateroom when I heard popping noises,” Blanchard said in a statement. He woke up the engineer sleeping on board, and they both made it safely to the dock.

“There were no injuries. The fuel tanks were not affected and there have been no spills reported,” he said.

The yacht, which was undergoing maintenance before the May 11 start of its Alaska Inside Passage cruising season, was booked for most departures, said spokesman Sarah Scoltock. Passengers were rebooked on other vessels. 

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