The awkward moment £270,000 yacht blew up and sank just 15 minutes after businessmen picked it up from boat yard

Paul Ward, 61 and his crew member John Innes were forced to leap for their lives into the English Channel, their clothes in flames, as the boat exploded

He said: 'It was touch and go. First there was the explosion, then the smoke and flames. If we hadn’t jumped clear just when we did we would have had it.
'In fact, as we watched it turn into a fireball within minutes I just couldn’t believe how close we had come to death.'

Mr Ward, who owns a coach firm that ferries rock bands around Britain, Europe and parts of Asia, had collected the 39ft yacht, a demonstration model with only 18 hours on the clock, from MGM Boats at Hamble Point Marina on February 8, 2010.
The trip to Rye in East Sussex, where he then lived, should have been plain sailing but instead turned into a disaster.

Sleek: The Meridian 341 is a four-berth motor yacht with two state rooms and all mod cons

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