Beach-goers in Nice witnessed a surprising sight last Thursday afternoon as a 40 metre-long yacht caught fire just off the Mediterranean coast.
The 40-metre yacht that caught fire and sunk before the eyes of stunned tourists near Nice last Thursday belonged to an Italian industrial tycoon, Diana Bracco, according to a report
by Ansa, Italy's national news agency.
Bracco, was allegedly onboard the yacht when it caught fire and sunk last week. Ms Bracco is part of the Bracco group, one of Italy's largest pharmaceutical companies. Bracco is also the former vice-president of Confindustria, the largest organisation representing manufacturing companies in Italy.
Holidaymakers had looked on as smoke started billowing from the huge yacht, called the "If Only", early on Thursday afternoon before it finally sank at around 10pm at night. The boat was located 6km south of Nice airport in the French Riviera.
The 11 passengers on board the Italian yacht were all rescued from the fire. One was taken to hospital in nearby Antibes.
In total, six boats and 66 firefighters intervened to put out the blaze. It is believed the boat is currently 650 metres underwater.
Fireboats approach the boat 'If Only' on fire off Saint-Laurent-du-Var. AFP
Emergency teams collected bits of debris which had risen to the surface including furniture and lifeboats.
On Friday morning, investigations into any pollution damage that may have been caused by the event were launched.
Other people sailing in the area were warned about the presence of floating debris.