Fire At McMullen & Wing Damages StarFish Project

By Ben Roberts

Reports emerged yesterday of a devastating fire at the McMullen & Wing facilities in New Zealand. Today, Richard Beattie, Chairman of Aquos Yachts and owner of StarFish, responded to the incident which took place on Sunday 12 August.

"The entire Aquos Yachts team is shocked and horrified by the fire on board StarFish. We are also cognizant of the potentially devastating consequences of the fire for McMullen & Wing and its craftsmen. Our hearts go out to the shipyard workers and to the Porter family. While we are still in shock from the fire we are also moving forward quickly to determine the full extent of the damage, which we believe to be extensive. It is a process that we are informed might take several weeks, and we are committed to concluding this investigation as quickly as possible. It is simply too soon yet to advance any prediction of whether our extraordinary project is salvageable.

"While the fire, coming less than a year from the planned launch of StarFish, is a terrible setback both for Aquos Yachts and the shipyard, we remain committed to our core mission of designing and building the finest luxury expedition yachts in the world for discerning yacht owners wishing to explore the world in the highest levels of comfort and security. Big Fish, which has cruised 60,000nm since her launch two years ago, and which has proved herself among the industry's most successful charter yachts, remains as our flagship and living proof of the Aquos Yachts vision and philosophy."

Measuring 50m, the successor to the 45m Big Fish explorer yacht, StarFish was over two years into her three year construction stage. We will report on the details surrounding the investigation when they emerge.

By Ben Roberts