Yachting Dynasty’s Multi-Million Dollar Cruiser Goes Up in Flames

(NCA NewsWire) - A multimillion-dollar motor cruiser once owned by the family behind the Wild Oats XI yacht has been destroyed in a massive fire in Sydney’s north.

Emergency services were called to Woolwich Dock about 8.10pm on Saturday following reports of a boat fire.

NCA NewsWire understand the boat, Andiamo - which is estimated to be worth between $5 and $10 million - was once owned by Sandy Oatley, the son of the late Australian yachtsman and businessman, Bob Oatley.

The family is best known for owning the nine-time Sydney-Hobart-winning yacht Wild Oats XI.

Upon arrival, the boat was found to be fully engulfed in flames.

Firefighters worked for some time to extinguish the massive fire, a difficult task given the extent of the fuel load.

Fire and Rescue NSW Superintendent Adam Dewberry said the boat was filled with 4000 litres of diesel when the fire broke out.

“It took so long [to extinguish the fire] because it’s a large vessel, and we had no access onto the yacht itself, it just wasn’t safe to get on board,” he said.

Police have confirmed the fire is not being treated as suspicious.

There are no reports of any injuries.

The Oatley family have been spending time on Hamilton Island for the tourist hot spot’s annual race week, hosted from August 19 to 26.

They are celebrating 20 years of owning the iconic island destination, after the Oatley patriarch purchased the island in 2003 for $200 million.

It is understood two other famous boats usually docked at the Woolwich Dock - where the Oatley’s own the lease - Wild Oats XI and Andoo Comanche, were both docked on Hamilton Island at the time of the fire.

Law Connect - which came in second to Comanche in the 2022 Sydney to Hobart race - was moored at the 

dock on Saturday night but was not damaged by the fire.

Officers attached to the Marine Area Command have commenced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the fire.

Anyone with information into the incident is urged to call police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

By Bob Oatley


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