Super-yacht Disasters

If Only catches fire off Antibes

The 39 metre If Only was pictured off the coast of Antibes on August 16 with huge plumes of smoke billowing from her superstructure. It is not yet known what caused the fire, but emergency services were quickly on the scene and successfully rescued all 11 people on board, according to local publication Nice Matin.

Built by Feadship to a design by J.F.H. Roger and launched in 1974, If Onlyunderwent a major refit in 1989. This steel and aluminium yacht can accommodate a maximum of eight guests and nine crewmembers.

Helicopter crashes while attempting to land on Bacarella

An investigation has begun in Norway after a superyacht helicopter crash injured three people earlier this week (May 10). Local reports claim that the helicopter was attempting to land on board the 59.74 metre Trinity yacht Bacarella at 2130 local time when it crash-landed off the coast of Bergen.

It is not yet known what caused the crash, but an eyewitness told local newspaper VG: “Suddenly, I heard a bang, then a violent splash in the sea right behind the yacht. It seemed as though the helicopter disappeared right into the sea. There was nothing to see in the water.”

A nearby rescue boat was quick to recover all three people on board the stricken helicopter, one of whom was found unconscious and remains in hospital with serious injuries.

Elsa runs aground in the Caribbean

The 48.53 metre Sijperda yacht Elsa ran aground on the Caribbean island of Saba on March 22, with local reports suggesting that she is at risk of sinking. As the video below shows, she became stuck on the rocks near the coast of Ladder Bay, where large waves have been washing against her starboard side.

Local publication Saba News reports that salvage efforts began on March 28 and the first priority is to safely remove all of the fuel from the yacht, which can carry up to 41,000 litres of diesel. It is currently unclear how Elsa came to run aground in this way, but it is understood that no-one was injured as a result of the incident.

Launched in 2004 as Grace and refitted in 2007, this steel hulled displacement yacht was sold as recently as August 2015. Designed inside and out by World Superyacht Awards judge Henk Koster, she boasts accommodation for ten guests and seven crewmembers.

The grounding of Elsa is the second such incident to occur in Ladder Bay in the past month, after a sailing yacht ran aground in a nearby location on March 13. Salvage efforts were successful and the yacht was refloated on March 18.

Link to Video click HERE

Limitless yacht on fire in British Virgin Islands

The 30 metre Hargrave yacht Limitless (ex-Da Bubba) caught fire off the coast of the British Virgin Islands on March 6. All of the people on board made a safe escape via tender, but the yacht itself is believed to be a total loss.

Phil Aspinall of Virgin Islands Search and Rescue told local publication BVI News: “The salvage company is at the location. He is doing his best, but the vessel is pretty well gone, based on my honest assessment so far.”

Launched by Hargrave Custom Yachts in 2005, Limitless is an all-GRP yacht with accommodation for eight guests and five crewmembers. Twin Caterpillar C30 engines give her a top speed of 22 knots.

Paradise sinks in Mallorca

The 34 metre yacht Paradise has been filmed taking on water after a Force 9 storm hit its mooring at the Mallorcan marina of Port D’Andratx last week (March 3).

Local reports suggest that the Custom Line yacht struck the pontoon with such force that the GRP hull was significantly damaged, although no-one was injured. In the hours since the above footage was filmed, the yacht has sunk to the extent that only the flybridge is visible above the water, eyewitnesses add.

Launched in 2003 by the Ferretti Group with styling by Zuccon International Project, Paradise is a fast-planing yacht with a top speed of 28 knots and accommodation for ten guests and seven crewmembers.

Link to Video click HERE

The One and Barbie catch fire

A major yacht fire broke out at Marmaris marina that devastated two prominent superyachts on January 4, 2016. The blaze is understood to have originated on board the 70.68 metre Lürssen yacht The One at around 0200 local time before spreading to a neighbouring vessel, the 52 metre Al Jadafsuperyacht Barbie.

Insurance firm Hiscox has since paid out $20m to the owner of Barbie. Paul Miller, director of marine underwriting, said it was the largest superyacht claim that the insurance industry had dealt with in a long time.

Mr Miller confirmed that investigations into the cause of the fire were still ongoing but despite this, the claim involving Barbie was clear cut. “The boat caught fire, it rolled over, it was a total loss,” he said.

However, The One is still in a sorry state 11 months on from this devastating fire, with her superstructure almost completely gutted. Local reports suggests that her hull will most likely be sold for scrap.

Link to Video click HERE

Three superyachts burned in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi Yacht Club was the site of another significant blaze in March 2016.

Eight yachts were reportedly destroyed in the fire, including three that measured more than 30 metres in length.

The situation attracted national attention with UAE’s deputy prime minister Sheikh Saif Al Nahyan called in to oversee rescue efforts.

Masteka 2 rescued by Carnival Spirit cruise ship

Vast cruise ship Carnival Spirit had to come to the aid of 37.2 metre Masteka 2 in October 2016 when she began taking on water while she was more than 250 kilometres away from Port Macquarie in Australia. The two stewardesses were taken on board Carnival Spirit as a safety precaution while a further four crew members stayed on board to try and stop the boat from sinking.

Carnival Sprit has remained alongside Masteka 2 and the Australian Maritime Authority is also helping to recover the yacht. Two de-watering pumps, emergency supplies and extra fuel were delivered to the crew by a plane. A tugboat from Sydney Harbour was later sent to retrieve the yacht.

Delivered in 2009, Masteka 2 is a successful charter yacht based in Sydney Harbour. She offers accommodation for up to 12 guests and is also available for day and cooperate charters. At this stage it is not clear what caused the superyacht to take on water.

Guests evacuated from Fusion

In July 2016 it was reported that 37 metre Peri Yachts Fusion got into a tricky situation off Ibiza, when she started taking on water and was reportedly at risk of sinking.

All eight passengers on board were rescued by the local emergency services with no injuries reported, but the captain stayed on board in an attempt to stop the yacht from sinking.

Local sources suggest that the salvage efforts were successful, but the owner is still likely to face a large repair bill and a complicated insurance claim.

Moon catches fire in UAE marina

The 35 metre Eser Yat motor yacht Moon caught fire in Al Hamra Marina in the UAE city of Ras Al Khaimah on September 21, 2016. After local firefighters failed to put out the blaze in the marina, the flaming yacht was towed out to sea, presumably to be left to burn out completely.

No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is yet to be determined, but the damage to the superstructure is significant, as this video shows:

Launched by Eser Yat in 2000, Moon is a tri-deck displacement yacht built from a wooden hull and superstructure. Accommodation is for 14 guests split across seven cabins, while her twin MAN engines generate a total output of 1,600hp.

Link to Video click HERE

Perla Nero runs aground in Croatia

The 33.2 metre Cyrus yacht Perla Nero ran aground in Croatia’s Sibenik channel on August 5, 2016. Footage of the stricken yacht on August 8 showed that it was still grounded, with local publication reporting that the owners were seeking advice from their insurers on whether the vessel can be refloated or if they will have to resort to an expensive craning operation.

No injuries or pollution were reported following the grounding of Perla Nero, however she is currently being marketed as a yacht for sale. Launched in 2007 and refitted in 2010, Perla Nero features accommodation for ten guests split across five cabins.

Bellissima runs aground in Pender Harbour

The 30 metre superyacht Bellissima had to be rescued by local tugs, after she ran aground in Pender Harbour at around 14:30 local time on August 3, 2016. Quick-thinking local sailors alerted the Canadian Coastguard to the stricken superyacht, which was taking on water and appeared to be at risk of sinking, with her transom sitting unusually low in the water.

By early evening the situation had stabilised, with Fisheries and Oceans Canada releasing a statement to say that “the vessel is currently floating at its regular height, and anchored in Pender Harbour. No pollution [is] observed at this time.”

Queen Anna goes up in flames

Another Turkish yacht disaster to grab headlines last year was the fire in Ege Saray marina in Fethiye on January 21, 2016.

Princess 95 motoryacht Queen Anna was filmed with huge plumes of smoke rising from her flaming superstructure as she was towed out to sea to reduce the risk of collateral damage.

The 29 metre superyacht was seriously damaged by the fire that broke out at around 1200 local time, and her captain Vladimir Lopata was later taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. It is not yet known what caused the fire but local officials have launched an investigation.

Positive Energy burns in St Thomas

St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands was the site of a superyacht fire in March 2016, when 26 metre Positive Energy went up in flames. Luckily there were no other vessels in Positive Energy’s immediate vicinity and the fire did not spread.

A team of firefighters from the St Thomas Fire Department arrived on the scene to try and quell the fire, but their efforts were ultimately futile and the superyacht was eventually towed out to sea and left to burn out. Investigations as to the cause of the fire are ongoing.

Link to Video click HERE

Stolen luxury yacht crashes into six yachts

A 24 metre luxury yacht was stolen from Miami Beach Marina in October 2016 and subsequently crashed into at least six other boats, according to local police. After the crash, witnesses said the thief abandoned the yacht and jumped into the water.

Miami Fire Rescue and the U.S. Coast Guard arrived at the scene shortly after the crash in a bid to prevent the yacht from taking on water but unfortunately had to stop once it began to capsize.

While the affected boats suffered severe damage as a result of the crash, no one was injured.

Multiple yachts burned in New York marina fire

Patchogue Shores Marina in Long Island, New York was the site of a devastating yacht fire on August 16, 2016. The blaze broke out at around 7pm local time and raged on into the night, with high winds spreading the flames to neighbouring vessels.

Six departments were called in to tackle the blaze, which was contained after five hours. The size of the largest yacht damaged in the fire is as yet unknown and an investigation into the cause of the marina fire is ongoing. Local authorities do not believe that it was intentional.

Link to Video click HERE

Stay safe


9 thoughts on “Super-yacht Disasters”

  1. Grin — thank you! I don’t feel quite so bad now about all the close encounters I’ve had. If the pros can mess up once in a while, us amateurs have no chance.

    -Ken W

  2. Response to a post by Ken Williams who said:

    Grin — thank you! I don’t feel quite so bad now about all the close encounters I’ve had. If the pros can mess up once in a while, us amateurs have no chance.

    -Ken W

    No doubt, we all now have a few get out of jail cards to play!!

  3. Response to a post by Andy Nemier who said:

    Did you notice that these were all powerboats,,, not one SuperYacht (sailboat) amongst them?

    over 24mtrs is the definition of Super Yacht Andy Pandy…. although I think that should change to over 35mtr.

  4. Response to a post by James who said:

    over 24mtrs is the definition of Super Yacht Andy Pandy…. although I think that should change to over 35mtr.

    Roberta and I debated, “Which is bigger, a mega-yacht, or a super-yacht?” I am convinced a super yacht is larger, but she disagrees.

  5. Response to a post by Ken Williams who said:

    Roberta and I debated, “Which is bigger, a mega-yacht, or a super-yacht?” I am convinced a super yacht is larger, but she disagrees.

    Ken, Roberta is right, Mega Yacht bigger than Super Yacht..

  6. Response to a post by James who said:

    Ken, Roberta is right, Mega Yacht bigger than Super Yacht..

    Maybe i am wrong.. the definition of mega yacht is, A Luxury yacht (also super-yacht, large yacht and mega-yacht) is a very expensive, privately owned, professionally crewed sailing or motor yacht. There is no industry-wide standard for the difference between super-yacht and mega-yacht. So there you have it…

  7. It is sad to see these yachts burn 🙁 Maybe somebody forgot to turn off the stove or the wiring was faulty. Even when these yachts are luxurious, there are always builders that will rip you off on things you don’t see on surface. For example look at this: ( This yacht was worth several milion euros and looks like this. But who cares… when your boat burns you gonna be long gone from the shipyard…

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