Business as usual at Great Yarmouth Sealife Centre after smoke fills building

Fire at Sea Life in Great Yarmouth. This photo was submitted by iwitness24.co.uk user Tammy Westrup. Fire at Sea Life in Great Yarmouth. This photo was submitted by iwitness24.co.uk user Tammy Westrup.

Saturday, August 18, 2012
10:10 AM

GREAT Yarmouth’s Sealife Centre is open as normal today after smoke filled the building on Thursday night.

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Fire at Sea Life in Great Yarmouth. This photo was submitted by iwitness24.co.uk user Tammy Westrup.Fire at Sea Life in Great Yarmouth. This photo was submitted by iwitness24.co.uk user Tammy Westrup.

Staff closed the aquarium yesterday to deep clean the affected quarantine area but general manager Terri Harris said it was “business as normal” today.

Four fire engines were sent to the seafront attraction after the service was alerted by an automatic alarm.

A faulty tank-chiller in the centre’s behind the scenes quarantine unit caused smoke to billow through the building. A dozen common shore crabs in the specialist unit were overcome by the smoke, but there were no other casualties and no damage to the building.

Terri Harris, general manager, thanked the fire service for their “amazing” response and neighbouring businesses who had offered support and help yesterday.

She said: “We spent yesterday taking the opportunity to deep clean everywhere. Local businesses have been fabulous, contacting me and offering help.”

Staff personally greeted visitors yesterday to explain the situation and arranged refunds or alternative dates for visitors who had purchased tickets in advance.

Despite losing 12 common shore crabs Ms Harris said another dozen - that were in the same tank as those that were overcome by the smoke - had “miraculously” survived, and staff were “astounded” by how little damage there was to the building, considering the amount of smoke.

She added: “There was never any risk to staff or public during the incident as it happened around 8.30pm

“Merlin’s well practised emergency procedures were immediately implemented and the welfare of the animals was top priority.”

The faulty equipment was less than a year-and-a-half old and had given no cause for concern prior to this incident.

All electrical equipment at the centre is routinely safety-tested annually.

Fire crews were called to Marine Parade at 8.30pm and stayed at the scene until 10.30pm to ensure the scene was safe.

6 comments

  • Penguins should not be in a place like the Sea Life Centre anyway, nothing like the facilities there to keep creatures like that in a humane way with adequate space. Archant is always hot on the heels of animal welfare cases when farm animals are concerned, but as well as reporting this genuine news, blithely trots out publicity for this zoo on a regular basis. It seems it is Ok to keep wild creatures in confined spaces as long as we want to gawp at them.

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    Daisy Roots

    Friday, August 17, 2012

  • mmmm, tasty smoked crab!

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    Master_Mates

    Friday, August 17, 2012

  • Were the crabs "dressed".I mean if this is to re a serious report we need to know these things ? Also were they old enough to smoke one wonders ,Were the crabs "dressed".I mean if this is to re a serious report we need to know these things ? Also were they old enough to smoke one wonders ? Pleased the other sea life were unaffected. Mind you they were in the best place were they not..under water.

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    Responsible parent

    Friday, August 17, 2012

  • The Crabs were so overcome with smoke, they actually started to walk like us humans.

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    chebram71

    Friday, August 17, 2012

  • I have got a question. Did any of then animals get hurt?

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    Charlotte Tuck

    Friday, August 17, 2012

  • "Reports on social media of penguins having succumbed to smoke and died have been discounted as untrue, and a case of rumours blowing the incident out of proportion." Surely a headline with the words "billowing smoke" does excatly this.Billowing smoke would have casued widespread damage to the building but yet the edp reports that the building was not damaged. Poor reporting edp (glad the penguins are safe!)

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    norfolkandgood

    Friday, August 17, 2012

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