A superyacht carrying around 8,000 litres of fuel has sunk after it went up in flames while moored in a marina in Torquay.
Firefighters battled to extinguish the blaze as it ripped through the 85ft vessel earlier on Saturday.
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service (DSFRS) said it had five appliances at the scene of the fire, and the case has been handed over to the Environment Agency and the harbourmaster.
Officers evacuated a nearby beach and roads, with one witness describing the blaze as “like a fireball”.
Police said the cause of the fire is currently being treated as unexplained.
By around 6pm, the fire was out and crews were working on damping down the pier, a DSFRS spokesperson said.
Dramatic photographs captured the vessel, called Princess, going up in flames have been posted on social media.
Plumes of thick black smoke could be seen covering the sky above the harbour in the photographs taken by eye-witnesses.
The police have declared a major incident following the fire.
Emergency services rushed to the scene to battle the blaze after the fire service were alerted to the incident at around 11.57am.
A spokesperson for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said: “85ft motorboat on fire. Fire crews called at 11.57am. Three fire engines on the scene. Liaising with the harbourmaster.”
Eyewitnesses reported hearing a rumble of “minor explosions” when near the scene of the fire.
Among them, one described the scene as a “fireball”.
The pier also caught fire, the emergency service confirmed at 1.30pm.
Smoke could be seen across South Devon, even from Newton Abbot and Shaldon.
There have been no reported injuries at this time.
Police have asked residents in the area to keep their doors and windows shut at this time due to the volume of smoke.
Members of the public have been urged to avoid the area and beaches are being cleared by officers for public safety.
A number of roads were closed while emergency services responded to the incident.
Roads traffic and monitoring service Inrix reported: “A379 Torbay Road in both directions blocked, queueing traffic due to fire services activity from Torquay Harbour to Road.”
The Standard has approached Devon police for further comment.