A MAN has been taken to hospital after being rescued from a burning yacht, 50 metres from the shore. 

Emergency services found the man clinging to a nearby boat whilst his 24ft yacht was "well alight". 

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service were called to Lake Road Slipway in Poole by the Coastguard after reports of the blaze on Saturday, April 13.

Bernard Goodes, a resident who lives in Lake Drive, was enjoying an evening walk by the water with his wife when he saw what he thought was a barbecue on a boat at around 10.30pm.

Bournemouth Echo: Boat fire in Poole

“Every evening we go for a walk and I was walking along and I thought, somebody's just having a barbecue on the boat, because it was a nice evening,” said Bernard.

“But then I thought, no, these flames are too big, so I phoned triple nine and they put me through to the Coastguard.

“About ten minutes into the call, I heard a guy calling out and he swam to another boat, he was actually on board when it caught fire.”

Bernard said the whole boat become engulfed in flames and within minutes the mast had snapped off and one of the propane cannisters exploded.

“Luckily he'd swam away upwind because the flames were blowing the opposite direction from where the gentleman went.”

Four fire crews from Hamworthy and Poole arrived at the scene and were met with the burning vessel 50 metres offshore.

Bournemouth Echo: Boat fire in Poole

Bernard said fire crews attempted to reach the fire by boat but due to the distance were forced to wait until Coastguard attended.

The RNLI arrived and were able to rescue one male from a second vessel that was attached to the one on fire.

The lifeboat crew administered casualty care, including oxygen, and said the man was very cold. 

He was taken ashore to a waiting ambulance and driven to hospital. 

DWFRS let the vessel burn under control before leaving the scene at 11.53pm.

Witnesses saw the boat sink under the water and it is unknown if and when it will be recovered.

The ambulance service have been contacted for more information.