Boat fire off Rottnest Island


Five adults and a child have jumped overboard to escape a fire on board their boat as they tried to travel between Perth and Rottnest Island in Western Australia.

The fire started about 9.30am on Wednesday on the 55-foot vessel and the group, which included a five-year-old girl, were collected from the water by a passing boat before being picked up by Fremantle Volunteer Marine Rescue, WA Police say.

No injuries were reported. It is believed the fire started in the engine room and eventually sunk the boat.

WA Water Police operations manager Sergeant Paul Crawshaw told ABC News it was lucky the family was not in the water longer.

“Nobody was wearing life jackets, [there was] no time to get a distress call out,” he said.

“I don’t know what their swimming abilities would have been like.

“The water is relatively warm at the moment, there’s lots of passing traffic [and] it’s not a rough day.

“Under different circumstances this could have been far more tragic.”

The fire will be investigated by the Department of Transport’s marine safety unit.

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