News, Culture & Society

20 Yachts That Sank or Went Missing

What’s the largest, most expensive thing you’ve ever lost? If you’re like most people, your answer is probably something small and insignificant – a set of keys or a pair of sunglasses. But for some, the answer is much bigger.

In this blog post, we’re going to take a look at 20 yachts that sank or went missing. Some were small and inexpensive boats, while others were massive and worth millions of dollars. Regardless of size or value, all of these yachts met with a watery end.

So if you’re in the market for a new boat, be sure to learn from these mistakes!

Reasons Yachts Sink or Go Missing

When people think of yachts, the very best design and technology usually come to mind, so it’s not often that we think of these marvels of engineering sinking. However, it does happen from time to time.

Let’s look at some of the main reasons yachts are lost and the specific boats that are now under the sea.

The yacht sank because of a design flaw: The Titanic is probably the most famous example of a vessel that sank due to a design flaw.

The ship was designed to be unsinkable, but it turns out that wasn’t the case. On its maiden voyage, the Titanic hit an iceberg and sunk to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Over 1,500 people lost their lives in the disaster.

Other yachts have also suffered from design flaws that led to their sinking. In 2000, the trimaran Club Med 2 sank after its keel broke in rough weather. And in 2011, the yacht Pink Lady capsized and sank due to a design flaw in its mast.

Natural Disasters: Many of the most costly losses of yachts have been due to hurricanes and other natural disasters.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina caused over $1 billion in damage to yachts in the Gulf of Mexico. And in 2017, Hurricane Irma caused an estimated $600 million in damage to yachts in the Caribbean.

But hurricanes aren’t the only natural disaster that can sink a yacht. In 2010, the volcanic eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland sent a large wave crashing into the harbor of Grindavík, sinking over 30 yachts.

Fires: Yachts are also at risk of being destroyed by fires. In 2015, a fire broke out on board the superyacht Eclipse, owned by Roman Abramovich. The fire caused an estimated $50 million in damage to the vessel.

The yacht sank because of a collision: Yachts can also be sunk or damaged by collisions with other vessels or objects. In 2009, the yacht Sea Cloud II collided with a container ship off the coast of Italy, resulting in over $1 million in damage to the yacht.

And in 2014, the superyacht Octopus collided with a fishing boat in the Mediterranean Sea, causing over $2 million in damage to the vessel.

Theft: Unfortunately, yachts are also at risk of being stolen. In 2007, the yacht Lady Moura was stolen from a marina in Italy. The thieves were never caught and the yacht was never recovered.

The yacht sank because of bad weather at sea: Yachts can also be sunk by bad weather at sea. In 2013, the yacht Cheeki Rafiki capsized in the Atlantic Ocean during a storm. The ship’s captain and three crew members were lost at sea and presumed dead.

There are also many cases of yachts that have simply gone missing at sea. In 2014, the yacht Bluebelle was reported missing in the Indian Ocean. The vessel was never found and the fate of its crew is unknown.

The yacht sank because it was overloaded: One of the most common reasons for yachts to sink is because they are overloaded. In 2004, the yacht Le Boreal capsized and sank after it was overloaded with passengers.

Other yachts have also been lost due to overloading. In 2012, the yacht Alfa Centauri capsized and sank in the Adriatic Sea after it was overloaded with passengers.

The yacht sank because of an accident: Yachts can also be sunk by accidents. In 2001, the yacht Fantasy Island ran aground and sank in the Bahamas. The accident happened after the vessel’s anchor became entangled in a coral reef.

In Italy, a massive cruise ship capsized after it hit a reef in 2012. The Costa Concordia accident resulted in the death of 32 people.

In circumstances with bad weather and poor visibility, collisions of boats near the port are not unheard of.  In 2013 near Genoa, Italy the Crystal Esprit ran into a pier.

The yacht sank because of terrorism: Sadly, yachts have also been targeted by terrorists. In 2000, the yacht USS Cole was bombed by Al-Qaeda terrorists while it was docked in Yemen. Seventeen American sailors were killed in the attack.

In 2005, a group of terrorists attempted to bomb the superyacht Amancay using a speedboat loaded with explosives. The blast missed the yacht, but killed two crew members and injured four others.

Sanctions: In some cases, yachts have been lost as a result of sanctions. In 2006, the yacht Lady Moura was seized by the US government after it was found to be violating sanctions against Libya. The vessel was later sold at auction and scrapped.

Just this year, the war in Ukraine has led to many Russian oligarch’s yachts being seized by various international governments.

The yacht sank because of piracy: Yachts are also at risk of being attacked by pirates. In 2011, the yacht Quest was hijacked by Somali pirates. The vessel’s four American crew members were killed.

In 2012, the yacht Serenity 1 was hijacked by Nigerian pirates. The vessel’s six crew members were taken hostage and later released.

The yacht sank because of a technical malfunction

Finally, yachts can also be sunk by technical malfunctions. In 2010, the yacht Maryah had to be abandoned after it began taking on water due to a leak in the hull.

The vessel was later salvaged, but it was so badly damaged that it had to be scrapped.

How To Make Sure Your Vessel Avoids This Awful Fate?

The best way to make sure your vessel doesn’t suffer the same fate as these 20 yachts are to be prepared.

Make sure you have a well-trained and experienced crew. Keep your vessel well-maintained and in good repair.

Have your yacht surveyed frequently by a company with high standards and excellent reviews?

Avoid sailing in bad weather conditions. Be aware of the risks of overloading your vessel. And finally, be vigilant and aware of the threats posed by piracy and terrorism.

The list of yachts that have sunk or gone missing is long and includes vessels of all sizes and classes. From the Titanic to the Cheeki Rafiki, these disasters remind us that even the most luxurious vessels are vulnerable to the forces of nature and human error.

If you’re in the market for a new yacht, be sure to keep these stories in mind! And if you’re ever unfortunate enough to lose your own yacht, we hope you have better luck than these owners did.