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Prop ship destroyed in fire on set of Black Sails

05 May 2016 - 17:45 By Aron Hyman

A huge fire spotted by early morning commuters on the set of Black Sails‚ an 18th-century series being filmed in Cape Town‚ destroyed a ship used as a prop in the US television show.

Photographs of the blaze at Cape Town Film Studios were circulated on social media early on Thursday.

CEO Nico Dekker‚ clarifying initial reports that the blaze was part of filming for the series‚ said the cause of the fire was unknown.

"The fire brigade‚ the city‚ everybody was there quite quickly and thankfully no further damage was caused to the studio or any additional equipment. The fire was confined to one of the ships that was in the tank‚" he said.


The series has been filmed in the city for years at the studios near Khayelitsha‚ and features two massive sailing ships which are visible from the nearby N2 freeway.

Executive producer Chris Symes‚ speaking to the Sunday Times last year‚ said the ships were built by a local sailor and 300 workers.

"The larger is the Walrus and operates on gimbals‚ or wheels which allow the ship to move in a specific direction. The other is the Spanish man o' war‚ which lies in a 10-million litre water tank - our version of the sea. We have shot at sea before‚ but that can be so unpredictable and we also had to accommodate a seasick cast‚ said Symes.

The cast included British actor Toby Stephens‚ son of Dame Maggie Smith‚ who plays the role of James Flint‚ a feared pirate captain.

TMG Digital/The Times


Note: In a previous version of this article it was stated that the fire was due to filming for the season finale.