Pier Luigi Loro Piana, owner of the 40 metre supermaxi My Song, has opened up for the first time about the incident which saw his yacht declared a total loss after it fell from a transport ship.
The Baltic 130 sailing superyacht was lost at sea in May 2019 after falling from the 138 metre cargo ship MV Brattinsborg. The Nauta-designed My Song, which was due to be delivered to Loro Piana in Genoa, was later hauled out in Palma and declared a total loss.
In the latest BOAT Briefing podcast, Loro Piana recalled the moment he was informed of the incident, admitting he initially thought it was a joke.
At the time, Loro Piana was attending an event held by his eponymous fashion brand in Rome when he received a phone call from a colleague.
“I was expecting him to tell me that My Song had arrived in Genoa but he said that My Song slipped out of the ship and [he] didn’t know where she was.
“I said ‘Are you joking? Today is not the day, I don’t want to joke at 8.30am in the morning.”
Photographs soon began to circulate showing My Song adrift at sea and later of the yacht being hauled out at Palma's STP shipyard. The damage was clear to see.
“When I saw the picture of the boat floating with no mast basically at the level of the sea, completely full of water, that was really painful,” Loro Piana said.
“Seeing the boat coming out of the water in Palma de Mallorca with such big holes in the hull and the deck and interiors, it was terrible. It was really disgusting.”
Loro Piana travelled to Palma soon afterwards to inspect the damage for himself. He described the moment he saw My Song for the first time since the incident as “very emotional”.
“It was like seeing your house where a bomb has exploded,” he said. However, he said he has now “accepted” what happened.
“My reaction was always that there are worse things in the world today and yesterday than what happened to me,” he said. “You have to accept it.”
Soon after the incident, Loro Piana discussed repairing the yacht with its builder Baltic Yachts. The possibility was quickly dismissed.
“Baltic told me they could repair but they would never guarantee the boat and the cost of repairing was higher than making it from new so there was no sense in trying to repair it,” Loro Piana said.
“That was why the boat was so quickly declared a 100% loss.”
In the interview, Loro Piana spoke at length about the ongoing legal battle over who is to blame for the incident
Loro Piana says responsibility lies with shipping company Peters & May and has begun legal action against the firm. Loro Piana claimed “the preparation of the boat was totally insufficient”.
He disputed claims that My Song’s crew bore any responsibility for the failure of the yacht’s cradle, which collapsed on board Brattinsborg during rough conditions.
“How can a crew be responsible for damages during a shipping?” he asked. “We gave [Peters & May] the cradle and the boat to ship to Europe and their job is to take it, prepare it, ship, load and unload the boat.”
He added: “I am not the carrier. I just gave them the cradle in order not to ruin the hull of the boat. But then how strong [it was] or what they have to do to cross the Atlantic is their job. It’s not my judgement, not even my job or responsibility.
“I just paid the bill for that to Peters & May and to (insurer) Allianz in order to have my boat safe back home in the Med.”
Peters & May denies responsibility and said in a statement: “Peters & May is confident that our initial findings will be proved correct and Peters & May will successfully defend any claim made by Mr Loro Piana for damages.”
In response to claims that the collapse of the yacht’s cradle was the fault of Peters & May, the company claimed that “the cradle provided by the yacht owner had undergone an undisclosed and apparently uncertified modification prior to shipment. This modification appears to have resulted in the failure of the yacht’s cradle.”
Click below to hear the full interview with Loro Piana on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.LISTEN ON SPOTIFYLISTEN ON APPLE