20 biggest scandals at sea

Relatives of Venezuela’s first lady arrested for trafficking drugs on yacht

Police in the Dominican Republic raided 40.8 metre luxury yacht The Kingdom on November 11, 2015 finding 54 bricks of a substance believed to be cocaine or heroin.

The yacht was berthed at the Casa de Campo marina in La Romana and six people found on board were arrested. The raid was performed as part of an on-going investigation into Efrain Antonio Campo Flores and Francisco Flores de Freitas, the godson and nephew of Venezuelan first lady Cilia Flores respectively, who were caught trying to make a drugs deal with an undercover agent in New York. All six suspects arrested were found to have connections to the pair.

Australia's most wanted terrorise locals on a yacht

A father and son became Australia’s ‘most wanted’ after they sailed along the country’s east coast committing crimes wherever they docked, News Grio reports.

Gino, 57, and Mark Stocco, 35, started their life on the run 12 years ago after father Gino bought a yacht, the Kiwarrak, with a $100,000 divorce settlement. According to a family member, Gino “went haywire” following the break-up of his marriage.

They set sail from the New South Wales coastal town of Taree, funding their trip by defrauding people they met in port. The pair were accused of stealing several people's identities, including a priest and an Australian soldier serving in Iraq along the way.

Gino Stocco was sentenced to four months and one week's imprisonment and Mark Stocco to two months. They were fined a total of A$3,000.

Following their release from a prison in Victoria, the pair have allegedly embarked on a new life of crime robbing rural properties, for which there are warrants for their arrest.

Did William Hearst try to kill Charlie Chaplin?

Thomas Ince, a film producer, died in 1924 after allegedly being shot by William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper mogul, on Hearst’s yacht, Oneida. It was claimed he shot Ince by mistake, having intended to shoot an actor, whom he believed was having an affair with his mistress….

While Hearst’s papers claimed Ince had been suffering from stomach pains – and the death certificate cited heart failure – rumour spread around Hollywood that Hearst exploded with rage when he found his mistress Marion Davies in an embrace with film star Charlie Chaplin. In the scuffle that ensued on board, it was Ince who was accidentally shot instead of Chaplin. An investigation was launched but quietly dropped and it was claimed that Hearst had paid Ince’s widow to hush it up.

Natalie Wood drowned during boat trip – was it really an accident?

The American actress, Natalie Wood, sadly drowned in 1981 on a boat trip off Los Angeles, California. Her husband, Robert Wagner, was on board as well as actor Christopher Walken. Her death was declared an accident, but in 2011 this scandal at sea gained headlines once again when a new investigation was opened after the boat’s captain admitted he had lied to police and that Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner had fought that evening. The cause of death was changed to “drowning and other undetermined factors”.

Boater Andrew Biddle fakes own death

The facts seem to point to one conclusion: championship speed boater Andrew Biddle tried to his fake his own death after he “disappeared” in a boating accident in July 2014. After an accident on a pontoon boat, Andrew Biddle fell overboard and couldn’t be found, prompting an 18-hour search by the US Coast Guard. This turned into a manhunt by the New Jersey police when it came to light that Andrew Biddle was indicted for defrauding his clients at his brokerage firm. While Andrew Biddle recently resurfaced and turned himself in, it is still a mystery as to where he’d been hiding out the six-plus-months he was on the lam, where he intended to go and what punishment will befall him now.

Jackie Kennedy and Aristotle Onassis’s love affair on Christina O

Jackie Kennedy and Aristotle Onassis’s relationship was riddled with tabloid-worthy scandal from the start… In 1963, Kennedy went on a cruise around Greece with Aristotle Onassis a month before the assassination of her husband. Seeing that Jackie Kennedy had little jewellery with her on one journey, Aristotle Onassis called Van Cleef & Arpels in Paris and got them to fly an $80,000 gold and ruby bracelet out to his yacht. Not bad for a first non-date.

Aristotle Onassis’s yacht, the iconic Christina O, kicked up its fair of share of controversy too. “I don’t think there is a man or woman on earth who could not be seduced by the pure narcissism shamelessly flaunted on this boat,” said Welsh actor Richard Burton, perhaps cementing his place on the stuck on shore list.

Picture: Rex Features

Gary Hart’s sex scandal ruins US presidential bid

Picture: Rex Features

Taking to the sea isn’t always enough to stop the prying eyes and lens of the paparazzi, as Democrat Gary Hart learned when his antics on board sunk his bid for the seat of US president. Photos emerged the politician cavorting with a woman who was most certainly not his wife on a yacht very aptly called Monkey Business.

Actor Errol Flynn accused of abuse

Australian-American actor Errol Flynn might have been glorified for his romantic, swashbuckler roles and playboy lifestyle making time with young starlets, but it was the latter that got him into hot water. Errol Flynn was accused, and acquitted, of raping an underage girl on yacht Sirocco in 1943.

The “Minnesota Love Boat” scandal

The original “Love Boat” was a zany, cheesy and beloved 1970s American TV show that took place on a cruise ship. An event in 2005 that became known as the “Minnesota Love Boat” scandal was of a much less discreet variety. Seventeen members of the Minnesota Vikings American football team chartered two yachts and a large number of prostitutes for a mid-season bonding session, making this one of the more notorious scandals at sea.

Lady Docker filmed dancing with coalminers on Shemara

The 1950s socialite Lady Docker, known to the press as “Naughty Norah”, was in a string of scandals at sea, including being banned from the French Riviera after tearing up Monaco’s flag and being fined for snatching a harbour guard’s beret in Capri, Italy. In 1954, she made the papers for throwing a party on the family yacht, Shemara, and being filmed dancing a saucy hornpipe. Her guest list was far from the celebrity set and instead comprised 45 coalminers from Leeds.

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