Shortly before 6pm on 9 September, the calm over Conwy marina was disturbed by the sound of an exploding gas cylinder.

This was rapidly followed by a column of dense black smoke and flames leaping 6m into the air.

Viewed from the east side of the Conwy estuary, it appeared that the fire was on the aft deck of the Welsh government’s fisheries patrol vessel (FPV) Lady Megan. It transpired, however, that the actual fire was aboard a cabin cruiser moored on the opposite side of the shared marina pontoon.

The fire raged for more than half an hour before the cruiser sank, during which time both the pontoon and Lady Megan suffered significant damage. Lady Megan’s aluminium casing on the port quarter was burnt right through in places, with extensive buckling and smoke damage elsewhere.

The Lady Megan was built for the Welsh government’s fisheries department by Mainstay Marine in 2019, replacing the FPV Aegis.

A Welsh government spokesperson told Fishing News: “Our thoughts are with those injured and affected by the fire which happened on Saturday. Assessments are taking place to understand the extent of damage to the FPV Lady Megan.

“We will adjust our enforcement plans, utilising our at-sea and shore-based assets.”

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here

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