Generally speaking, a luxury motor yacht is probably one of the safest vessels on the sea. With sophisticated electronics, safety and security gear, it is very unlikely that such modern vessels ever run into serious trouble, particularly if that gear and those systems are well maintained.

Still, that is no guarantee that something cannot go horribly wrong. From the real-world tragedy of the Titanic, to the fictitious Poseidon, we seem to hold a morbid curiosity with shipping disasters, so here in no particular order, are the Top 10 Most Recent Yachting Disasters, as recently compiled by Boat International Magazine.

ElsaThe 160 foot yacht Elsa ran aground on the Caribbean island of Saba on March 22, with local reports suggesting that she is at risk of sinking. It is still unclear how Elsa came to run aground in this way, but it is understood that noone was injured as a result of the incident.

Limitless– The luxury yacht, Limitless, was lost to fire off the coast of the British Virgin Islands (BVI). The almost 100 foot motor yacht was anchored near the island of Virgin Gorda, a popular yachting destination in the BVI, when she was engulfed in flames that originated from short circuit in one or more of her electrical appliances. The flames engulfed the whole yacht, but her captain and crew escaped to safety in the yacht’s tender. They escaped without injuries, but, despite the efforts of local firefighting authorities, the yacht was a total loss.

Paradise – The 112 foot yacht Paridise was filmed taking on water after a Force 9 storm hit its mooring at the Mallorcan marina of Port D’Andratx on March 3, 2017. Local reports suggest that the yacht struck her moorings with such force that the GRP hull was significantly damaged, although noone was injured. Witnesses reported that she soon sunk to the extent that only the flybridge was visible above the water.

Two for One – In January 2016, this dramatic footage of not one, but two superyachts on fire in Turkey’s Marmaris marina. The blaze is understood to have originated on board the 230 foot Lürssen yacht, The One, at around 0200 local time before spreading to a neighboring vessel, the 169 foot Al Jadaf superyacht Barbie. Insurance firm Hiscox has since paid out $20m to the owner of Barbie. Paul Miller, director of marine underwriting, said it was the largest superyacht claim that the insurance industry had dealt with in a long time.


Abu Dhabi Yacht Club Fire – Another devastating fire took place at Abu Dhabi Yacht Club in March 2016. In this incident, eight yachts were reportedly destroyed, including three that measured more than 100 feet in length.

Picture: Twitter @bingbing_luxury

Masteka 2 – A rescue at sea occurred when the commercial cruise ship Carnival Spirit had to come to the aid of 122 foot Masteka 2 in October 2016. Masteka 2 issued a Mayday when she began taking on water while she was more than 150 miles from Port Macquarie in Australia. The two stewardesses were taken on board Carnival Spirit as a safety precaution while a further four crew members stayed on board to try and stop the boat from sinking.

Moon – In yet another dramatic fire, the 115 foot motor yacht Moon caught fire in Al Hamra Marina in the UAE city of Ras Al Khaimah on September 21, 2016. After local firefighters failed to put out the blaze in the marina, the flaming yacht was towed out to sea, presumably to be left to burn out completely.

– The luxury motor yacht, Bellissima, ran aground in Pender Harbour, British Columbia. By all accounts the accident occurred due to “human error.” The duty officer apparently misjudged the entrance to the harbor.

The hull was compromised below the water line and the motor yacht took on water and began to list. As the aft of the engine compartment continued to flood, the captain put out a mayday call. The local Coast Guard response was swift. They rendered assistance with pumping out the water, and, were able to refloat the yacht.

Positive EnergySt. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands was the site of a superyacht fire in March 2016, when the 86 foot motor yacht Positive Energy, went up in flames. Luckily there were no other vessels in Positive Energy‘s immediate vicinity and the fire did not spread. A team of firefighters from the St. Thomas Fire Department arrived on the scene to try and quell the fire, but their efforts were ultimately futile and the superyacht was eventually towed out to sea and left to burn out.

Theft and Collision – An 80 foot Hatteras luxury motor yacht, named Mimi, was stolen  from its berth in a Miami marina, but before they could get very far, the thieves crashed the vessel, and apparently escaped on foot. This happened about 11:00PM, October 2nd, when the thief who obviously lacked the skill necessary to drive the yacht, ploughed into at least six other boats, leaving them heavily damaged. They then hit the Miami Beach Marina’s dock pier L, leaving the vessel listing in the water. Miami Beach Police told the Miami Herald that another boat theft was discovered at the marina later, and that no suspects had been arrested for either incident.


On Demand Yachting Provides Peace of Mind

As you can see from the above list, while rare, yachting disasters can happen, and they usually occur due to human error, or mechanical failure.

Our On Demand yachting solution includes providing for all of your crew needs. All of our personnel are completely vetted, and you can be sure they are up to speed on all fire training and other safety certifications.

When it comes to making sure you and all of your guests are as safe as possible, having the right crew is only part of the equation. You must make sure you have all of the right safety gear on board, and that it is all where it should be and functioning properly. That means, in the unlikely event that they are ever needed, all PFDs and fire extinguishers are maintained and recharged as necessary, first aid kits restocked, etc.

Also, since fire is often caused by an electrical short, or other mechanical failure, On Demand ensures that your yacht is maintained properly.

Maintaining your yacht’s safety gear at operational readiness is just one of the services you can count on from our On Demand Yachting Solution.


[Main Image:  Bellissima Run Aground, Courtesy, CTV News Vancouver]



Operating a motor yacht can be costly. You can reduce your expenses, and avoid costly repairs by keeping her well maintained. On Demand yachting from FYM can help. If you would like to learn more, or if you have any questions or comments about this blog post, do not hesitate to contact our Yacht Management specialists, or call us at (954) 900-9968.