RT. Initial assessment of a blaze that heavily damaged the $24 million yacht Polar Bear in Chula Vista, CA, last week, indicates that a welding crew may have caused the fire, that destroyed the boat. Larry Jodsass, the yacht’s owner, indicated he cried when he saw video of his 100-foot-plus ship going up in flames, noting that he believed the Polar Bear was the most beautiful boat ever built.
Jodsass, a retired entrepreneur and former chairman of a semiconductor company who now lives in Minnesota, had the boat played in dry dock following a winter voyage to Costa Rica. News of the fire was nothing less than devastating for Jodsass The Polar Bear has been in the water three years after a building process that took three years.
The fire broke out around 9:15 a.m. on June 19, engulfing the super yacht and sending flames and smoke high into the air. Fire crews were warned of the possibility of explosion as the yacht had a lot of fuel on board. Police blew out the Polar Bear’s windows with high-powered rifles to allow more water to enter the yacht in an attempt to douse the flames. A hazmat team also was on the scene, while the shipyard was evacuated for precautionary reasons. Two shipyard workers suffer minor smoke inhalation in the incident. No other boats in the shipyard sustained damage.
Still photographs and video of the Polar Bear show a yacht with an elegant interior that included hardwood and walls, marble counter tops and a widescreen television in the master suite. Jodsass indicated he thoroughly enjoyed the yacht, which he considered his haven. The owner intends to question the boatyard until he receives satisfactory answers about why and how the fire started.