Sailing superyacht Enigma catches fire in Langkawi

One of the world's largest sailing vessels has been gutted by fire off the coast of Malaysia

author icon By Peter Shadbolt | 18 February 2021

Malaysian authorities say seven crew members have been rescued from the 75-metre sailing yacht Enigma (previously Phocea) after the sail-powered superyacht caught fire near Langkawi, Malaysia.

According to Boat International, the yacht is the ninth largest sailing yacht in the world. It was filmed on fire in strong wind conditions after the blaze was discovered by a local patrol vessel.

The vessel requested the assistance of the Langkawi Maritime Rescue Sub Centre and Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency MMEA which began fighting the fire at around 8.18 am local time.

Kedah and Perlis MMEA director, Maritime First Admiral Mohd Zawawi Abdullah said the wind conditions were “making the operation difficult”.

“The seven crewmen were successfully transferred to KM Tenggol and they are safe and unhurt,” he said in a statement. “No oil spill was reported and we will continue monitoring the situation”.

Built in Toulon, France, by DCAN in 1976, the four-masted schooner is 75m long and can cruise at 11kts in the right conditions although she has reportedly achieved 30kts under sail . In 1986 she was converted into a cruising yacht for French entrepreneur Bernard Taipei.

The yacht was then sold to Mouna Ayoub in 1999 and modernised during a refit at Lürssen and has been used extensively as a charter.