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

  • Bradley

    Crews was picked up over a month ago after they had abandon ship due to being demasted. This was my fathers boat that they sailed from San Franciso to the French Polynesian last year. The new owner was on its maiden voyage.

  • Jerry Hansen

    The crew was rescued safely on Oct 2.

  • Jock Walker

    As the past owner of the Scotch Bonnet, I have been in communication of the owner of the boat at the time of the dismasting. The crew were all rescued in heavy weather and now have returned to Australia.

  • Dennis

    My wife Karen and myself were Passengers on the Sun Princess when the crew came to the rescue of the Scotch Bonnet. The rescue crew were marvelous there was about a 3 to 4 meter swell as the crew boarded the stricken yacht.

    Rumours spread around the Sun Princess like wildfire.
    When the rescue vehicle returned to the Sun Princess all the Passengers gave them a standing ovation. We are pleased to hear that all the crew from the Scotch Bonnet are safe.

    The last that we saw of the Scotch Bonnet it was drifting around the Tasman Sea.

  • Jeanette

    So very pleased to read that the people aboard “Scotch Bonnet” were rescued. I too was a passenger on the Sun Princess and was watching with a heavy heart when the Sun Princess rescue team were investigating the craft. There were quite a few scenarios running through my mind but it was great to hear that all were safe. Such a shame to see the vessel drifting aimlessly in the middle of nowhere. Great effort by the Sun Princess;a very professional operation.

  • Pat and Diane

    We were also on the Sun Princess when this incident was happening. I agree with Dennis that the crew were marvellous in the swell. There were plenty of stories, the strangest that it was a whale strike due to the brown marks on the side of the yacht and on deck. A bit of excitement on this superb trip.

  • Barbie smart

    We also were on the Sun Princess, we are so happy that everyone was rescued it left a horrible feeling in our minds wondering if everyone was ok.Barb and Les Smart

  • Jade

    We were also aboard the Sun Princess and am thrilled to hear of the crew’s saftey. I had a lot of awful thoughts running through my head and am so glad they are all ok. The Sun Princess crew were fantastic!

  • Mike

    Has the Scotch Bonnet been salvaged yet ? Sad to see such a fine boat drifting in the Pacific alone & unmanned ? Looks like she had taken another collision on the port side with the hull damage & the safety rails all twisted.

  • John and Jan Miles

    We too were on that cruise. Two questions:

    1. Isn’t it a hazard to navigation to have a vessel adrift like that? And

    2. Shouldn’t the master of the Sun Princess have been informed of the stricken vessel, and especially of the crew having been rescued two months beforehand? This would have saved time effort fuel and worry for a major vessel.

  • Sharon

    It was a very interesting thing to see – lots of ideas for TV or movie being passed around.

  • steve graham

    Having flown on many search and rescues around the Pacific, I can answer the questions posted by the Miles family.
    1. Yes it is a hazard, RCCNZ recommend scuttling the vessels; however RCCNZ do not own them, so it is the captain’s call – some of the owners state intentions of recovering the craft, depending upon the cost of salvage recovery.
    2. There are many vessels abandoned in the Pacific Ocean. Some are promulgated but only for the short term. It can take an hour or so for RCC to respond to the ship’s captain – sometimes it may be quicker to enter the name on Google.

  • John

    Scotch Bonnet is now washed up on Brunswick Heads Beach. Walking along beach this morning and yacht washed up on beach. Police were in attendance.

  • Jerry

    I am helping with a drift analysis of the Scotch Bonnet. Does anyone know the lat, lon coordinates for the Scotch Bonnet when she was abandonded, when the Sun Princess found her, and when she went aground?

    Thank you,