San Diego, California boat captain Kurt Roll was shooting aerial footage with a remote-controlled quadcopter drone Thursday when he captured a yacht on fire.
Roll was filming at Marine Group Boat Works shipyard in Chula Vista, California, when he spotted thick clouds of smoke in the distance and decided to use his drone to get closer. By closing in on the scene, he managed to capture the massive boat fire.
In the video uploaded to YouTube (below), the drone draws near the boat and then backs away to show the massive scale of the fire.
The 112-foot boat, called the Polar Bear, had been at the shipyard undergoing repairs for several weeks before catching fire around 9 a.m. on Thursday.
"The fire started up near the bow, one of the hoses blew out, so that caught on fire, and I saw fire coming out of one of the holes," marina worker Chris Gonzalez said.
Around 100 marina workers were evacuated during the fire, and one was treated for smoke inhalation. Although workers have suggested the fire was started by a welding accident, the exact cause is still under investigation.
Due to the intensity of the flames, fire fighters were forced to work from the shore, spraying fire retardant foam and water from ladder hoses.
Luckily, the fire did not spread to any other boat or structure.
The Polar Bear belonged to retired electrical engineer Larry Jodsass and was worth about $24 million.
“Am I angry? No. Anger is not the right word,” Jodsass said. “It was my toy, my wonderful, beautiful piece of equipment.”
Jodsass speculated that the Polar Bear was probably the most beautiful boat ever built.