Saudi Billionaire’s $400 Million Superyacht Destroyed In Dockyard Blaze

The most heartbreaking video we've ever seen...

Saudi Billionaire’s $400 Million Superyacht Destroyed In Dockyard Blaze

Image: Maritime Executive

Fire destroys Lürssen shipyard and a $400M superyacht, with explosions, evacuations and a mysteriously unknown cause.

We’ve seen plenty of big-money superyacht stories here at DMARGE — take the slew of controversy around Jeff Bezos’ $700 million passion project or the $3 billion superyacht-submarine as prime examples — but very few have quite such a devastating ending as this one, which saw a $400 million AUD (c. $250 million USD) vessel burnt to dust.

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Blaze Engulfs Lürssen Shipyard

Early on the morning of July 2nd, a catastrophic fire broke out at Germany’s renowned Lürssen shipyard in Schacht-Audorf, devastating the facility and a very luxurious superyacht reportedly worth $400 million along with it. The inferno erupted around 9:20 a.m. local time after workers noticed smoke and quickly identified the source as a smouldering fire within the large building hall housing the yacht in question.

Despite the rapid response from over 300 German firefighters, the blaze spread quickly, fueled by several explosions that rocked the yard and surrounding areas. Witnesses recounted the dramatic scenes as fire and smoke billowed into the sky, forcing the evacuation of around 100 employees and nearby residents. The fireboats dispatched to the site also played a crucial role in battling the flames — which took hours to bring under control — ensuring the safety of the canal’s operations.

Honolulu Among The Casualties

Industry insiders and social media speculations suggest that the destroyed vessel could be the Honolulu, a 246-foot superyacht being built for a Saudi Arabian billionaire. Valued at $400 million AUD, this yacht was perhaps the ultimate symbol of opulence and cutting-edge maritime engineering, now reduced to charred remains amidst the wreckage of the building hall that housed it.

The fire’s intensity made it nearly impossible for firefighters to enter the hall, with temperatures soaring to a scorching 1000 degrees inside. By mid-morning, the hall’s roof and some of its exterior walls had collapsed, marking a devastating and possibly unrecoverable blow to Lürssen’s capabilities at this facility. Despite the containment of the fire later in the afternoon, fire crews anticipated ongoing efforts to completely extinguish the flames, predicting something of a smouldering mess for days to come.

Lürssen, a prestigious name in luxury yacht construction dating back to 1875, issued a statement expressing relief that no major injuries occurred, thanks to the prompt actions of the fire crews. However, the incident has left a significant impact on the yard’s operations and the employees’ sense of security about their future jobs. The cause of the fire remains unknown, leaving many questions unanswered as investigations continue.