The fire started at around 4.30pm and despite the skipper’s best efforts, flames engulfed the boat sinking it off Formentera

The catamaran was anchored on the coastline of ses Illetes while its tourists were eating at the well-known restaurant ‘El Pirata’.

As the skipper told the Diario de Ibiza, at around 4.30pm he began to smell burning and upon approaching the area where the smell emanated, he could see the kitchen was already on fire. The fire was spreading rapidly and despite using all fire extinguishers on board, there was nothing he could do to extinguish the flames. To prevent injury to himself he threw himself into the sea.

The 13-metre catamaran owned by an Ibizan charter company sank in just 20 minutes, with flames and smoke visible from numerous coastal locations.

Local police, Guardia Civil and Maritime Safety patrols all attended the scene.

Photo credit: Pep Toni Bartolomé Tur