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The Superyacht Owners Leading the Coronavirus Relief Effort

24 March 2020• Written by Holly Overton

Some of the world’s most successful businesspeople are making pledges and donations in the global relief effort against the COVID-19 pandemic...

Roman Abramovich, who owns Chelsea Football Club and the 162 metre superyacht Eclipse, has offered NHS staff working in London free accommodation at his Millennium Hotel at Stamford Bridge over the next two months. The gesture will help shorten the commutes of hospital workers and relieve some of the pressure on the NHS.

Roman Abramovich's 162 metre superyacht Eclipse

Remo Ruffini, chairman and CEO of luxury retailer Moncler and owner of the CRN Atlante, has announced the company will donate €10 million to authorities for the construction of a new hospital in the Lombardy region of Italy, one of the hardest hit areas in the country. The funds will go towards 400 new intensive care beds as part of a 270,000-square-foot facility being constructed in the former Fiera Milano exhibition area.

Moncler CEO Remo Ruffini.

US scientist and superyacht owner Jonathan Rothberg is developing an at-home COVID-19 test kit that can tell if someone has the virus within 30 minutes. From the science lab on board his 55 metre Amels motor yacht Gene Machine, he came up with the idea to manufacture a low cost COVID-19 home testing kit where results could be read on a smartphone. He put a call out on Twitter for experts who have experience launching apps online and is working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop the test.

Jonathan Rothberg is developing an home testing kit for the virus. Image courtesy of Getty Images

Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani, owner of 65 metre Codecasa Main, has donated €1.25 million to three hospitals in Milan, the Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Disease in Rome and to the Italian civil protection agency.

LVMH director Bernard Arnault, owner of 101m Feadship Symphony, announced that the luxury goods conglomerate will begin to manufacture hand sanitiser in three of its makeup and fragrance production facilities to keep up with demand. The product will be distributed for free to French authorities and a network of hospitals in France.

LVMH director Bernard Arnault. Image courtesy of Creative Commons

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, superyacht owner and backer of Britain's America's Cup bid, has announced that his chemical engineering company INEOS will build new sites in both the UK and Germany that will each produce one million bottles of hand sanitiser a month. Supplies will be delivered free of charge to NHS hospitals and hospitals in Germany during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

INEOS CEO Jim Ratcliffe

Arthur Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons NFL team, has pledged $5.4 million from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation towards recovery assistance during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The funds will be given to the Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund and used to tackle issues such as food insecurity, housing stability and medical support.