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Nightmare on boat at Palavas-les-Flots

MidiLibre/Scoop, Jul 27

A family group of tourists promised the six youngsters a boat trip in Palavas-les-Flots earlier this week. The trip turned into a nightmare 500 metres from the beach, when the boat’s engine caught fire. The youngsters aged between nine and 18 were all equipped with lifejackets.

The parents could only watch from a distance as the disturbing black smoke from the engine quickly turned into a fire. Palavas SNSM Rescue Station were quickly alerted.

According to the mother of three of the children on board, they all panicked when the engine was on fire, and one of the fire extinguishers didn’t work. The other fire extinguishers were the other side of the engine, and it wasn’t possible to reach them.

Eventually the children had no choice but to jump into the water. Rescue arrived quickly, and the six children plus the captain and his partner were safely taken back to dry land.

Police have opened an investigation to look at the cause of the fire, and whether the boat had passed all its checks at the start of the season.

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