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Sailboat catches on fire in Elizabeth River near Portsmouth; boat owner injured

The fire happened right behind the swimming point area in Portsmouth, and fire crews called for assistance due to the sailboat being fully engulfed in flames.
Credit: Portsmouth Fire, Rescue, and Emergency Services

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — A sailboat caught fire Sunday morning while sitting at a dock on a river, right behind the swimming point area near Portsmouth.

Portsmouth Fire, Rescue, and Emergency Services were called on Sunday, Dec. 20 around 5:58 a.m. about a sailboat fire on the Elizabeth River. Officials said this happened off Hospital Point near Naval Medical Center Portsmouth.

United States Coast Guard and Virginia Marine Police also responded to the incident.

When Portsmouth fire crews got to the dock they found the sailboat fully engulfed in flames and called Norfolk Fire-Rescue to assist right away.

PFRES Cheif Julian Williamson said crews were able to access the sailboat by going to the dock behind the neighbor's house where the boat was anchored.

There was only one man on the boat when the fire broke out, and he was able to be assisted off the sailboat by another individual and safely back to shore.

Officials said the owner of the boat was left with minor injuries and refused to go to the hospital.

The cause of the fire is under investigation at this time.

Credit: U.S. Coast Guard
Credit: U.S. Coast Guard