A fire broke out overnight at the well-known Antigua Yacht Club Marina. Although fire fighters were still on the scene after daylight, the marina building is destroyed.
Local media reports don’t indicate exactly when the fire began. Thus far there’s also no official statement from fire officials, either. However, video from residents (below) reveals the marina well enfulged before dawn. Additionally, wind gusts from Tropical Storm Philippe, which further was causing flooding on the island, made the firefighters’ job worse. Further video shot by residents reveal just how challenging the conditions were.
The entire Antigua Yacht Club Marina main building has been gutted by the fire. It was home to the popular Skullduggery Café as well as the dockmaster’s office and yachting businesses like BWA. BWA confirmed to us that no one was in the office at the time. (Editor’s note, October 10, 2023: BWA Yachting Antigua has reopened in a rebuilt marina office and additional offices on site. It is fully operational.) Gaston Browne, the prime minister, estimates that at least 100 jobs have been lost. “Giving thanks that no one got seriously hurt,” he adds. “We have been spared the worst. As a resilient people, we soldier on.”
Browne additionally noted that the yacht Alfa Nero, which the government of Antigua and Barbuda seized earlier this year, was unaffected. The yacht, which has been docked at the marina for more than a year, was moved prior to Tropical Storm Philippe’s arriva. Alfa Nero remains the subject of lawsuits over her sale.
The Antigua Yacht Club Marina has long attracted megayachts and sailing superyachts. Besides being a base for the winter season, it hosts yachts and businesses participating in the annual Antigua Charter Show, a yachting-trade event.
There is no word yet as to why the fire started.
The marina issued a statement in the late afternoon. It reads:
Antigua Yacht Club Marina is deeply devastated by the fires that occurred last night, particularly affecting the facilities and services within our main complex. Our thoughts are with the affected business owners and their employees during this difficult time.
Despite this unfortunate incident, we want to assure our valued members, patrons, and the sailing community that the main marina facilities, including diesel, water, electricity, and dockage, remain fully operational. We are committed to providing uninterrupted services to our visitors and guests.
A new location for our office has already been set in motion to ensure seamless communication and assistance for all our customers.
We are grateful for the overwhelming support and concern expressed by our community, and we would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has reached out to us during this challenging time. Your support is invaluable, and we are determined to make the upcoming season a great one, albeit with some adjustments.
Antigua Yacht Club Marina remains resilient and determined to continue serving the sailing and yachting community with the same dedication and excellence. We look forward to welcoming you back and appreciate your continued trust in us.
Antigua Yacht Club Marina aycmarina.com