$800,000 Yacht Goes Up In Flames, Sinks To Bottom Of Long Island Sound

Robert Blount's Boat Was Also His Home And It Went Down On His 50th Birthday

WESTPORT, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — An explosive rescue on the Long Island Sound has left a local man alive, but homeless.

As CBS 2’s Lou Young reports, the inferno could be seen for miles.

From shore it registered as a bright light on the water — a spot of flame devouring a luxury yacht visible from two states.

“We were receiving phone calls from Long Island, 911 phone calls,” said Westport, Conn. Police Capt. Sam Arciola.

Arciola said he was fishing Saturday evening when the big boat passed trailing smoke. Owner Robert Blount had just dropped off several guests and was headed back to Norwalk Cove Marina, where he keeps the yacht docked.

“The fire became very visible in the helm station up on top, at which time we took him on board our boat and backed off immediately,” Capt. Arciola said.

Blount was rescued in the nick of time, too. He was unharmed and was with his family Monday night, but didn’t want to talk. The craft pushed fire into the sky for around 90 minutes after the rescue before slipping below the surface.

Blount told police that the fire started in one of the boat’s engines and spread so quickly he didn’t have time to radio for help.

We’re talking about a really beautiful craft here, a 3-year-old Meridian valued at $800,000, 47 feet from bow to stern powered by twin diesels, 380 horsepower apiece. It wasn’t just a boat, it was his home. Blount lived on board and watched it go to the bottom on his 50th birthday.

Fellow boaters were feeling his pain on Monday.

“It’s more than just your home; it becomes an extension of you. So to see, I think for anyone who loves their boat, to see their boat burn up and sink, it would be about as traumatic an event as you could have happen,” boat owner Martin Van Breems told Young.

The boat now sits in 18 feet of water off Westport, on an oyster bed. Salvage operators are expected to raise it this week so insurance inspectors can get a close look.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

More from Lou Young

One Comment

  1. Jo says:

    Gee,that’s sad. I’m sure he had good insurance.

  2. bday55 says:

    The 2 happiest days of a boat owner are?

    1. Lawn-Guy Land says:

      (1) the day he buys it.

      (2) the day he sells it.

  3. Frank N Footer says:

    I thought that the Captain goes down with the ship? What happened here??

  4. 2 gruesome2b says:

    you can smell the envy for those who have, as it emanates from the wannabes.
    the saying in rome used to be every cab driver in rome was a communist…until he won the national lottery.

  5. Terry says:

    I wish this could happen to every CEO.

    1. frank says:

      you are a mental case…….what a really vindictive comment!!! SICK!!!!!

  6. TomNJ says:

    “ha ha ha”, oops, I mean “what a shame.”

  7. karlson says:

    If he collects the insurance he won’t be homeless.

  8. gk says:

    poor baby, want to see REAL homeless, visit a homeless shelter where children and families don’t have a place to go…give me a break…. .

  9. gjk says:

    Get a sea-horse!

  10. marty says:

    I think it was the 50 candles that did him in!!!!

  11. Poor Quality says:

    Thank God he’s safe and that he had insurance. He’ll just up and buy a new one, but he better not pick the same manufacturer, obviously it was defective. Was it made here in the U.S.?

    1. MADE IN JAPAN says:

      possibly made in Japan. Now a days almost everything is made over seas.

  12. Fire Marshall says:

    My jaded instincts suspect yet another insurance scam, please examine his ability to keep that yacht sailing. Hint: “accelerants!”

    1. 31352 says:

      Your probably correct.

    2. NO MORE BOAT, I'LL BURN IT! says:


  13. roy says:

    What an expensive way to pollute the environment.



  14. Truth Monger says:

    Happy Birthday to you….Happy Birthday to you…………….

  15. Booger says:

    My heart is breaking for the wealthy who lose any of their toys.

    1. Chico says:

      You’re wealthy — very much so — compared to most of the world in Africa, Belarus, China, the far east. As such, how’d you feel if they cheer your house burning to the ground, you ignorant spoiled brat American?

  16. UUUnicorn says:

    Anyone could become homeless at any time. It is way too easy to lose it all–and once one has lost it all, it is very, very difficult to regain one’s life (such as a place to live) back.

    And no–not ev’ryone has family and/or friends, whom could be of help, to turn to in times of crisis.

    1. Scott says:

      So true, so very very true.

Comments are closed.

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