A YACHT worth tens of thousands of pounds has gone up in smoke.

Dramatic scenes unfolded at the Mercury Yacht Harbour in Hamble as a fire caught hold on a 36ft sailing boat moored on the pontoon.

Workers told how they, marina staff and boat owners all rushed to try and put the fire out and move other vessels away from danger.

Daily Echo:

The boat was gutted and all that remains is the shell of the outside and charred wreckage inside.

Barney Hayes, crane driver at the harbour, off Satchell Lane, said: "It was quite dramatic - the fire burnt through the foot of the mast where the mast sits on the deck.

"That collapsed and then the mast came down.

"The fire took hold where the gas bottles were and they exploded."

Daily Echo:

Firefighters were called to the boat, which belongs to the Hamble School of Yachting, at 12.30pm yesterday and put the fire out using four breathing apparatus and two jets.

Luckily no-one was on board at the time and no-one was hurt.

Daily Echo:

The school said the cause of the fire is not yet known but lessons would not be affected.