Eight passengers and eight crew were aboard the 41m catamaran superyacht Seafaris when it caught fire before sinking off Australia's Daintree coast at about 6am (AEST) this morning.
They abandoned ship and were rescued about 90 minutes later by a bulk carrier that responded to the yacht's Mayday call. All 16 survivors arrived at Cairns marina about noon. They were exhausted and barefoot, and some wore only shorts after their rapid escape.
Custom built in 2006 by Australia’s Forgacs Shipyard, Seafaris was developed for shallow draft, fast cruising and luxurious yachting on the Great Barrier Reef. She is a 2007 World Superyacht Award winner and a popular charter yacht.
Seafaris is owned by property developers the McCloy Group, whose chairman, Jeff McCloy, is on his way to Cairns. He says he is devastated the multi-million dollar vessel, which attracted visitors from around the world, has been destroyed but is thankful those onboard are safe.