Lt Col Patiwat Yodkhwan of the Patong Police was notified of the fire at 9:07pm.
Police arrived at the beach with firefighters and Tourist Police officers to see the yacht burning some 500 metres offshore from the Seaview Patong Hotel at the southern end of the beach.
A fire team took a speedboat equipped with a pump out to the burning yacht, called ‘Soraya’, and took about 30 minutes to extinguish the fire.
However, by that time, the boat was destroyed by the fire, police reported.
Police explained that the boat was owned by a 63-year-old Australian man they named in the police report only as “Brian Derek”.
The Phuket Tourist Assistance Centre and the Phuket Tourist Police this morning both refused to reveal to The Phuket News “Mr Brian’s” family name.
Col Patiwat noted in his reported that ‘Mr Brian’ has arrived in Phuket on his yacht “a few days before the incident”.
The Australian explained to police that he was cooking dinner when a wave rocked the boat, causing hot oil to spill out of the pan, setting the boat on fire.
“He shouted out people on another boat nearby, who came to safely get him off the boat and call emergency services,” Col Patiwat noted in his report.
Col Patiwat also speculated that there may have been a gas leak on the boat, which may have accelerated the fire.