FIREFIGHTERS tackled a fire on a 35-foot vessel last night.

Crews received a call at 9.20pm on Sunday to reports of smoke and flames in the area on Swineham point, east of Wareham.

Firefighters from Poole also proceeded to the south side of the River Frome via Ridge to investigate, as although several calls were received, none were able to accurately pinpoint the fire.

On locating the incident at Swineham the crews reported a 35-foot vessel heavily involved in the fire.

The Coastguard and RNLI also attended and Poole Harbour staff were able to warn river traffic to keep away from the area due to the risk of cylinders being involved in the fire.

Crews used a hose reel plus two main lines from open water to tackle the blaze and although access was very difficult, good progress was made. 

The fire was brought under control just after 11pm and firefighters remained on scene until after 1am damping down.  

The cause of the fire is not currently known and the vessel was completely destroyed.

Both Poole lifeboats were launched at 21.50pm on Sunday evening to a report of a boat on fire in the Wareham Channel.

The vessel, thought to be a cabin cruiser, was reported to be moored at Swineham, in the Wareham River.

A spokesperson for Poole Lifeboat said: "When the lifeboats arrived on scene, the vessel was well alight, at this stage it had not been established if any persons were on board, and a thorough sweep of the area was undertaken by the lifeboats.

"The fire brigade was on scene on the river bank putting the fire out.

"The volunteer crews searched the area of the river and banks when it was soon determined that there had not been anybody on board the vessel and that no one unaccounted for.

"The inshore lifeboat returned back to station whilst the  all-weather lifeboat remained on scene to  illuminate the area, whilst the fire brigade put out the fire."

Both boats were back alongside the quay at Poole  by 12.15am.