Boat blaze witness call

Police investigate a fatal yacht fire last week. (Louisa Jones) 210690_24

By Luke Voogt

Anglers who were nearby when a yacht fire killed two people could help investigators determine what happened, according to police.

Arson and Explosive Squad detectives on Monday appealed for witnesses to the fatal fire on The Gypsy in North Geelong earlier this month to contact police.

On July 1 emergency services rushed to a ramp near Mackey Street after reports of a fire about 6.30pm.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze and found two people dead, who police have since identified as a 60-year-old woman and a 59-year-old man, both from North Geelong.

Police are not treating the fire as suspicious.

“Investigators believe that a number of people were fishing on the pier at the time of the fire and are asking them and anyone else in the vicinity who witnessed the incident to come forward,” a police spokesperson said.

Earlier this month council’s planning, design and development director Gareth Smith said the yacht had been moored at St Helens boat ramp without a permit since early 2019.

“The owners relocated the yacht to Mackey Street jetty approximately three weeks ago, where they had a temporary permit to moor while undertaking repairs,” he said.

“The City has placed the boat in storage,” Mr Smith said.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss of life and express our condolences to family and friends impacted.”

Water Police, Search and Rescue divers and Arson Squad detectives investigated the wreck earlier this month.

Police urged anyone with information to phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au

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