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The biggest superyacht disasters in the world

22 November 2021• Written by Miranda Blazeby

From devastating fires to shocking crashes, BOAT rounds up the worst superyacht disasters from around the world.

Perini Navi sailing yacht Malizia runs aground

The iconic 24.2 metre Perini Navi sailing yacht Malizia ran aground on rocks on the Italian island of Stromboli in summer 2021. The yacht, which was half submerged in the water, was on charter at the time of the incident, according to reports, with five guests and three crew on board. Local media reported that the captain attempted to intentionally run the yacht aground following control malfunctions.

Sailing yacht Phocea sinks after fire

The 75 metre sailing yacht Phocea, previously the ninth largest sailing yacht in the world, sank in February 2021 after catching fire off the coast of Malaysia. The yacht caught fire in strong wind conditions, which exacerbated the blaze. According to reports, the coastguard was able to control the fire but the damage to the hull was too severe and caused the yacht to sink.

Turquoise superyacht Go collides with Sint Maarten dock

The 77 metre Turquoise flagship Go was filmed colliding with the dock of the Sint Maarten yacht club in the Caribbean in February 2020. The yacht crashed into the dock as it was leaving Simpson Bay Lagoon from its berth in Ile de Sol Marina. It was reported that the collision was caused by a computer malfunction on board, according to local newspaper The Daily Herald.

Svea Collides With Topaz During the Superyacht Challenge Antigua

In March 2020, we saw the shocking collision between the J-Class sailing yachts Svea and Topaz during the Superyacht Challenge Antigua. The 43.6 metre Svea was captured on video riding over the stern of the 42.6 metre Topaz, resulting in the injuries of three crew members. A report into the incident undertaken by the J Class Association later found Svea responsible for failing to keep clear as the port tack boat.

Fire breaks out on board 48m superyacht Lady MM

The 48 metre superyacht Lady MM was filemd on fire in 2020. The yacht was reported to have been travelling from Capri to Porto Cervo in Sardinia when the fire broke out. Footage captured below shows the extent of the fire from this birdseye view.

My Song falls from transportation ship

One of the most tragic disasters of 2019 occurred in May when the Baltic 130 Custom sailing yacht My Song fell from the 138 metre cargo ship Brattinsborg. The 39.6 metre yacht was salvaged off the coast of Menorca but was declared a total loss by its owner Pier Luigi Loro Piana. "The damage outside and to the interiors of the yacht mean it is not salvable. It may have hit the side of the cargo ship as it fell," he told The Times newspaper.

Major fire at Lurssen shipyard

In 2018, a ferocious fire tore through the Lürssen's Bremen-Aumund facility, seriously damaging a new build superyacht measuring over 100 metres. Thanks to the efforts of more than 150 firefights and the yard's immediate emergency procedure, all employees working on board were safely evacuated.

Elsa runs aground in the Caribbean

The 48.53 metre Sijperda yacht Elsa ran aground on the Caribbean island of Saba in 2017 and later sank. Following the sinking, the authorities removed the vessel from the sea floor. Elsa was later declared a total loss.