AROUND 90 people were evacuated from a catamaran that caught fire near Galé beach in Albufeira. Passengers said recreational boats in the area carried out the first rescue efforts.
Only two people required medical treatment for light injuries. Passengers explained that the fire started in a sardine depository on board, at a time when the ship was between 500 and 800 metres from the shore. The fire quickly spread but pleasure boats and port authority vessels headed to the scene and evacuated passengers before flames overtook the boat. A firefighting aircraft and members of the Albufeira bombeiros were also at the scene.
Some of the passengers said that the catamaran, owned by the firm Top Cat, was short of life jackets. They also said that the crew appeared to be unprepared for such emergencies.