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. 


Cruise Ship Racing to Rescue Sailor in Southern Ocean

Newspapers in Australia are reporting that a cruise ship is on its way to rescue a round-the-world sailor whose sailboat was de-masted, forcing him to abandon ship into a life raft in remote waters southwest of Tasmania.

The Brisbane Times states that French yachtsman Alain Delord was attempting a sail around the world but became stranded at sea after his sailing yacht was damaged in rough seas. A cruise ship, Orion, diverted its course for Antarctica to assist in the rescue.

Alain Delord Tchouk Tchouk NoguatThe 63 year old sailor was skippering the 10.6 meter sailboat named the Tchouk Tchouk Noguat.  Delord is an experienced mariner, having reportedly completed 17 trans-Atlantic voyages. He has been at sea for several months.

He keeps a blog about his adventures and last noted that he was plotting a course through severe winds measuring 40 knots and 10 meter seas. He was wearing survival gear when he entered the life raft. 

The Orion cruise ship should be at the location of the distress beacon tonight. The emergency beacon was activated yesterday, 500 nautical miles southwest of Hobart.

A French sailing magazine Mon Voile interviewed Mr. Delord in October and discussed his preparations for the trip, the reinforcement of the mast and the steps to be taken in the event of a de-masting.

Let's hope and pray that this turns out well for the Frenchman. 

January 20 2013 Update: Success!  The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Mr. Delord is safely aboard the Orion. His first meal?  "French onion soup, proceeded by a nice fresh green salad and lamb shank with a nice glass of red."


Photo credit: Mon Voile Mag

Fire Destroys 80' Yacht Off Miami Beach

Bliss Yacht Fire Miami Beach The U.S. Coast Guard issued a press release today stating that an eighty foot yacht caught fire off of Miami Beach this morning.  

The incident occurred around 10 a.m. today. The 110-foot Coast Guard cutter Sitkinak was in the process of boarding a vessel when the 80-foot motor yacht Bliss caught on fire before the boarding commended. It is less than clear whether the Coast Guard was boarding the Bliss or some other vessel.

Three people aboard the yacht were forced to jump into the water and were picked up by the Coast Guard cutter. 

The Coast Guard and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue vessels responded and extinguished the fire but not before the Bliss sank. The yacht remains partially submerged, and must now be salvaged and towed back to shore.

The fire produced a huge smoke plume which could easily be seen from shore.

Photos: U.S. Coast Guard

Bliss Yacht Fire Miami Beach

Sun Princess Responds to Disabled Sailboat

Scotch Bonnett - Sun Princess Cruise ShipYesterday the Sun Princess cruise ship responded to a disabled sailing yacht in the middle of the Tasman Sea.

The Tasman Sea is a wide body of water measuring some 1,200 miles across, between Australia and New Zealand. 

According to the Ballina Shire Advocate, the vessel, named the Scotch Bonnet, was adrift when it was located by the crew of the Sun Princess.  It was de-masted apparently due to rough weather. 

The vessel had been sailing from the Bay of Islands in New Zealand's North Island to Sydney. 

After the Sun Princess pulled alongside the derelict vessel, the crew of the cruise line determined that no one was aboard. 

The cruise ship then communicated with the "Rescue Co-ordination Centre" on the mainland and was given permission to continue the voyage to Brisbane.

The Sun Princess was on day twelve of a fourteen day cruise from Brisbane to the South and North Islands of New Zealand when it encountered the Scotch Bonnet.

If anyone has information regarding the safety of the Scotch Bonnett's crew, please leave a comment below.

Tasman Sea