Porsche family loses yachts in fire

A fire at an exclusive Austrian marina on the Wörthersee destroyed 14 yachts Friday night, including two belonging to members of the family that controls the Porsche auto company, Bild am Sonntag reported.

Porsche family loses yachts in fire
Photo: DPA

One of the yachts, the Sia, was built in 1947 and had belonged to Ferdinand Porsche, who created the Volkswagen Beetle. He had personally designed and built the yacht, according to Porsche’s grandson, Hans-Peter Porsche,who had had the boat fully restored in 2006.

“The family is inconsolable,” Porsche told Bild, “Many personal memories were aboard that sailboat.”

Over 160 firefighters battled the flames, which began late Friday evening. A preliminary investigation suggests the fire began with a defective electrical cable or outlet. There is no sign of foul play.

A 14-meter yacht belonging to Hans-Peter Porsche’s cousin, Ferdinand Piëch, who is chairman of the Volkswagen board of directors, was also destroyed in the blaze. Hours earlier, Piëch had celebrated his 72nd birthday aboard the boat.

Marina owner Wolfgang Schmalz said he had spoken to Porsche about the fire.

“I had to tell him that unfortunately, the boat is totally destroyed and can’t be salvaged at all,” Schmalz said in an interview with Bild. “Unfortunately, there are no more blueprints for the Sia, so it’s lost forever.”

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