DESTROYED: The remains of the Freedom Flyer.
DESTROYED: The remains of the Freedom Flyer. Contributed

Community gobsmacked by shocking ferry blaze at the weekend

THE Capricorn Coast community was gobsmacked on the weekend when two boats were burnt to the ground and three others damaged by heat at Rosslyn Bay Harbour.

The Freedom Flyer and a Marine Parks vessel went up in flames and a water police vessel, another commercial vessel and a private yacht were damaged on Saturday night, causing millions of dollars in damage and leaving more than just the boats gutted.

Freedom Fast Cats operator Max Allen Jnr said the family was devastated.

"This is the time of the year where we make up for the money we lose in the quiet period," Mr Allen said.

"We still have the Wild Duck and the Adventurer, so we will just keep going and try to make it work.

"The important thing for the community to know is that we are still open for business and operating our regular services to the island."

Member for Keppel Bruce Young is encouraging the community to support Freedom Fast Cats at this difficult time.

"The Allen family have hung in there through good times and bad for this community over the past 16 years," Mr Young said.

"I would like to see the community get behind them."

While the cause of the devastating blaze is still unknown, Queensland Fire and Rescue Service is conducting a forensic examination and is hoping to establish a cause in the next few days.

Acting Inspector Mel Adams said it could be anything from a mechanical fault to a deliberate action.

She said a marine surveyor was gauging the damage to the police vessel to see if it could be taken to a dry dock in Gladstone.

The Freedom Fast Cats ferry service to Great Keppel Island is operating as normal.

Departure times

 10.30am Mondays and Tuesdays,

 9.15am Wednesday to Sunday.

Return times

 2.30pm Tuesday,

 3.45pm Wednesday to Monday

Prices are online at http://www.freedomfastcats.com



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