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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Luxury yacht catches fire

An unusual three-masted sailing yacht, claimed to be one of the largest private sailing yachts in the world, caught fire in the inner Oslo Fjord during the weekend, setting off a major rescue effort. The yacht, registered in the Bahamas, had been tied up in Oslo for the past week.

The luxury yacht "Eos," moored off Filipstad in Oslo on June 23. PHOTO: Views and News

The 90-meter-long vessel named Eos was lying just off the eastern side of Oslo’s harbour, near the islands of Malmøya and Ormøya, when the fire broke out on Saturday. Oslo’s fire-fighting and rescue service sent around 15 firefighters to the three-masted vessel.

“Boat fires like this one are difficult and demanding for us,” Nils Kristiansen, acting fire chief on duty, told newspaper Aftenposten. “There are lots of small areas and crannies on board where the fire can spread.”

There reportedly were 18 persons on board when the fire broke out Saturday afternoon. According to police, no one was injured in the blaze, the cause of which was unclear. The vessel has its own security personnel who commenced firefighting and later assisted the Oslo firefighting crews.

Views and News spotted the vessel last week, moored on the Midsummer holiday at Filipstad in Oslo, an otherwise largely industrial area near the Color Line terminal. The vessel was apparently waiting for its owner, billionaire American executive Barry Diller, to board over the weekend. Newspaper VG caught up with Diller in downtown Oslo Saturday, where he downplayed the fire, saying it was “no problem,” and that the Eos, valued at between USD 150-200 million, was “just a boat.” The most important thing, Diller told VG, was “that no one got hurt.”

Diller, age 70, is a broadcasting and entertainment industry legend in the US who headed Paramount Pictures in the 1970s and 1980s and, later, the parent company of 20th Century Fox and Fox Broadcasting. He was once dubbed the “highest-paid executive of the year” by the New York Times but also has been called a “life-long Democrat” and supporter of Democratic political causes, as has the current US ambassador to Norway, Barry White.

Diller is married to fashion designer Diane von Furstenburg and reportedly arrived in Oslo on Friday.  Police said the top deck of his yacht suffered extensive damage but damage elsewhere was relatively minor. VG reported that Diller and his traveling companions ended up checking into a top Oslo hotel. The damaged vessel was berthed back at Filipstad on Monday.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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