Woman ‘extremely lucky’ to survive yacht blast
A gas leak is being investigated as the cause of a massive explosion which blew a luxury yacht to pieces and left a 54-year old woman "extremely lucky" to be alive.
Police divers spent Sunday morning examining the wreckage of the sunken boat at Newport Anchorage Marina, as a clean-up operation continued throughout the day with debris including huge chunks of the vessel's hull being fished out of the water.
It came after a huge explosion on board the boat occurred just before 8pm Saturday night, with the woman sustaining hearing loss and shrapnel injuries to her legs in the blast.
Police said the woman had been lying on a sofa at the time the explosion occurred.
She escaped to safety on the adjacent jetty before the vessel sunk, with nearby members of the public rendering first aid.
The woman was transported to Royal North Shore Hospital in a stable condition and was due to be released on Sunday.
Residents as far as Narrabeen, 10 km away, reported hearing the eruption.
One neighbouring resident said it was a "hell of an explosion", adding that he looked out of his window to see two hatches from the boat "flying through the air".
While police investigations into the blast are continuing, it's believed an issue with the on-board gas supply is being pursued as a reason for the explosion.
Another nearby resident said locals "ran on to the streets" as they were unsure where the massive blast came from.
"She's extremely lucky," the resident said.
"She must have won the lotto to escape that."
"It's amazing that no other people were hurt."
The jetty where the yacht was moored sits out the back of a block of apartments in the well-heeled Northern Beaches.
Damage from the blast could be seen on at least one nearby vessel, which had holes shredded in its canvas covers due to shrapnel from the blast.
Police said the woman, who suffered injuries to her lower legs, climbed to safety on the wharf before the severely damaged boat sank.
Windows in some surrounding boats were also broken, and the jetty was damaged, in the explosion, which happened about 7.50pm.
The woman told police who attended the Beaconsfield St jetty she was alone on the boat and lying on a lounge when the explosion occurred.
She was taken to Royal North Shore Hospital in a stable condition
A crime scene has been established and inquiries into the incident continue.
Originally published as Woman 'extremely lucky' to survive yacht blast