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.
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
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.
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 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.
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:
Concordia sailing yacht West Island College (via CBS News)
Video The Associated Press
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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
9 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.
7 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)
Maritime & admiralty lawyer & attorney James M. Walker of Walker & O'Neill Law Firm, offering services related to injuries, sexual assaults, fires, negligence, rapes & disappearances on cruise ships, pirate & terrorist attacks, missing passengers, shore excursions, wrongful death and the Jones Act, serving cruise passengers, crew members, cabin attendants, utility workers, waiters, bar tenders, ship doctors and cleaners on cruise ships worldwide.
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