Luxury Yacht Catches Fires, Explodes & Sinks

One of the areas of cruising which we rarely touch upon is ultra-luxury cruising. But today, the press in Australia are covering a terrifying fire which quickly engulfed and sank a "superyacht" with 16 people aboard.

7 News reports that the fire occurred on the 135 foot Seafaris. The 16 people on the yacht consisted of 8 passengers and 8 crew. One crew members noticed the fire in the early morning hours yesterday and woke the other crew members and passengers.

The yacht was off of Cape Tribulation, north of Cairns, Australia. 

Everyone abandoned ship quickly into a life raft. The ship then exploded and sank. 

A passing container ship that responded to a distress call and rescued the passengers and crew. No one was injured. 

 

Passenger Ship Sinks - 9 People Dead

Eight people have been proclaimed dead and one is presumed to have drowned when a pleasure ship collided with a cargo barge. The accident occurred today in the Moscow River. There were a total of sixteen people onboard when the ship went down and only seven were rescued.

The ship, Lastochka, was registered to Russia. Its captain and owner, Gennady Zinger, had previously be fined (three times in the past year) for exceeding the passenger limitation aboard the vessel. According to Wireupdate, the vessel had several safety issues, including a broken engine and extreme overloading.Photo Credit: SeaNews

 

Fishing Tour Boat "The Erik" Capsizes in Mexican Waters

ABC News is reporting that a chartered fishing boat with 44 tourists aboard capsized and sank off Mexico's Baja California peninsula.  A 115 foot long vessel called "The Erik"  was reportedly struck by a storm and then capsized early yesterday 87 miles south of San Filipe, Mexico, in the Sea of Cortez

There are conflicting reports regarding the number of survivors. The ABC report states that  one person drowned and six others are missing. 

The U.S. Coast Guard sent a helicopter from San Diego to search for the missing.  A Coast Guard spokesperson said that the fishing boat "was close enough to shore that some people were able to swim to shore.  Other people were picked up by good Samaritan vessels that were in the area. Others were rescued by the Mexican Navy."  A Coast Guard press release indicates that the incident occurred around 2:30 in the morning on Sunday.

The ABC report indicates that the fishing boat was operated by Baja Fishing.  Other newspapers identify the operator as Baja Sportsfishing.  Internet advertising indicates that "Jig Stop Tours" of Dana Point California is the booking agent.   

Although the vessel capsized around 2:30 a.m., no distress signals were apparently sent from the vessel. 

The El Mexicano Newspaper released a list of the first 20 survivors, which included  crew members and paying passengers.  Photographs of the survivors ashore can be viewed here.

Erik Jaba Sportsfishing - Capsize - Mexico

July 5, 2011 Update:  The Dana Point Times reports that Jog Stop Tours did not book this particular fishing trip.  Seven U.S. citizens remain missing.  A news station in California reports that the "California Secretary of State website says Baja Sportfishing's business license has been suspended. It doesn't state a reason or give a date."

Photo credit:  bajasportfishinginc.com via CBSNews.com  

48 Students Rescued On The High Seas After Concordia "Class Afloat" Ship Sinks

Concordia Sailing Ship - Sinking - Students Rescued48 students aboard the S/Y Concordia found themselves in lifeboats bobbing in the Atlantic for two days after their sailing yacht sank 550 kilometers from Rio de Janeiro Brazil.

According to the Vancouver Sun, the students, mostly Canadian high school and first year college students with some Americans, were part of a Canadian "Class Afloat" program aboard the  Concordia "tall ship."  Class Afloat provides high school and university students an opportunity to study while at sea. 

The three-masted vessel capsized in strong winds on Wednesday, leaving the passengers and crew stranded in the Atlantic, clinging to life rafts for two days. 

There remains an issue why it took so long for rescue vessels to arrive.  The newspaper reports that a distress signal went out about 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday - but it was not until 5 p.m. on Thursday before the Brazilian airforce spotted the life boats.  The rescue was not complete until Friday morning.

The Concordia is registered in Barbados, which is the country now responsible for the investigation.

Concordia - Sinking The newspaper reports that all of the rescued kids donned black baseball caps stitched with "F42" referring to the naval vessel which delivered them safely to shore in Brazil.

After learning that all of the students and crew were rescued, the president of the school rightly announced:

"We've lived through a miracle at sea."

 

Credits:

Rescued students             The Associated Press (via The Telegram)

Concordia sailing yacht     West Island College (via CBS News)

Video                                     The Associated Press

 

If you would like to sign up for emailed articles from CruiseLawNews, please type in your email address to the left or sign up for a RSS feed. 

 

 

 

 

 February 21, 2010 Update:

The Calgary Herald published the following time line regarding the rescue of the students and crew aboard the Concordia tall ship:

Wednesday, Feb. 17:

2:30 p.m. - a distress signal goes out from the Concordia

Crystal Pioneer - Concordia Rescue9 p.m. - Brazilian navy receives alert.

Navy officials spend 18 hours confirming what ship sent the signal, whose flag it was under. Confirms location, attempts radio contact with the Concordia. Contacts the school - is informed the last contact with the ship did not indicate any problem.

Thursday, Feb. 18:

2:30 p.m. - Brazilian navy asks air force to do a flyover of the area and alerts merchant ships in the region. Stormy seas prevail.

5 p.m. - Brazilian air force spots lifeboats. 

9 p.m. - Merchant ships Crystal Pioneer (photo above) and Hokuetsu Delight (photo below) told to go to location. Stormy seas, bad weather continue.

Friday, Feb. 19:

4 a.m. - Crystal Pioneer spots lifeboats - due to darkness and high seas, waits to pluck the survivors to safety.

Hokuetsu Delight - Concordia Rescue7 a.m. - The relieved passengers start boarding the Crystal Pioneer and Hokuetsu Delight.

9 a.m. - Last lifeboat located, passengers transferred to Hokuetsu Delight.

Saturday, Feb. 20: 

All 64 students, teachers and crew arrive safely in Rio de Janeiro

Sources: Nigel McCarthy and The Brazilian Navy (via Calgary Herald)

 

March 5, 2010 Update:

There are some excellent photographs of the lifeboat and the students being rescued on line at the Amver blog.

 

Credits: 

Crystal Pioneer    CIShipping.com Cayman Registery

Hokuetsu Delight    Shipspotting.com (Andreas Schlatterer)