Italian Coast Guard rescues seventeen from flaming yacht off coast of Sardinia

Dramatic footage shot by the Italian coast guard showed a burning yacht sinking below the surface of the Mediterranean off the coast of Sardinia. Coast guard officials confirmed they had rescued 17 people from the vessel, which left a plume of smoke behind as it disappeared into the water. Two coast guard boats and a helicopter were involved in the operation.

According to Italian news agency ANSA, the 50-metre yacht, the Lady MM, was heading from Capri to Sardinia when a fire broke out on board. The seventeen people, which included eight tourists from Kazakhstan and nine crew members, had already abandoned the ship and were in a smaller boat when the coast guard arrived.

At this stage the cause of the fire is not known. The video below shows the terrifying sight of flames tearing through the 155-foot boat, as thick clouds of smoke rise above, before she sinks.

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