233 towed to safety after jetfoil fire
Harald Bruning in Macau and Agnes Lam
A Hong Kong-bound jetfoil was forced to return to Macau yesterday after its engine caught fire.
No one was injured in the incident, the first of its kind in two decades. Executive manager of Macau Maritime Terminal, Captain Augusto Lizardo, said the Terceira's starboard engine overheated and caught fire at about 3.45pm, 10 minutes after leaving Macau with 224 passengers and nine crew on board.
'We rushed two tugboats to the jetfoil outside Macau's Outer Harbour immediately after receiving the jetfoil's alarm call,' Captain Lizardo said. 'We towed the jetfoil back to Macau, where all but one of the passengers decided to board other jetfoils to Hong Kong.' The other passenger asked for a refund.
The jetfoil arrived at the Marine Terminal at about 4.25pm, where fire engines and ambulances were on standby. The fire was put out by foam before firemen arrived. Thick plumes of smoke billowed from the engine room as the jetfoil was towed to the terminal. The cause of the fire was not immediately known.