Nautical accidents boom in the year 2022

In the first nine months of 2022, the accidents that led to the yachts and so (or nearly so) had various reasons, such as sudden fires that broke out on board, sinking due to inexperience, and voluntary attacks by malicious people.

An incredible number of reported accidents in the yachting world have characterized this boating season. There have been so many, and many of them have ended up in the international press spotlights. In addition to small boating, numerous megayachts are also involved in accidents that end with devastating sinking or burning.

Why so many yacht accidents in 2022?

In terms of frequency, one of the leading causes of accidents to yachts is linked to sudden weather changes. Undoubtedly, the climate change underway generates sudden atmospheric events, sometimes even very intense and devastating, with which we will, unfortunately, have to live, paying more and more attention to their unpredictability and violence, especially at sea.

This summer, the holidays of some yachtsmen, especially in the Mediterranean Sea but not only, have been entirely ruined by intense storms and waterspouts that have also caused the total loss of several boats.

Other very striking cases involved fires on board yachts, mainly motor yachts, which broke out at the shipyard shortly before delivery or when they were already moored or in the harbor. In these cases, causes are often attributed to a short circuit or newly developed battery explosions. This damage has forced the shipowners involved to inevitably considerable costs to repair or replace the damaged parts, which require many hours of manpower. In some cases, these fires have led to the boat’s destruction.

Huge repair costs and long lead times

Modern pleasure boats, whether sailing or motor yachts, are much more complex products than they were in the past. Electronics, for example, certainly facilitated navigation, but it is very delicate and, above all, requires technical interventions by highly specialized personnel, as does most of the onboard technology.

In recent years, the race to automate every aspect on board, accompanied by increasingly high demands, has led the shipyards to exacerbate on-board comfort and to create increasingly sophisticated yachts both from a technological and aesthetic point of view, making the most of all available spaces.

Maintenance and repairs are increasingly complex and expensive due to the difficulty of finding the parts to replace and the required repair time. It is easy to say that, with the current timing of procurement, even minor damage could compromise the yacht’s summer season, if not even cause it to be lost.

The list of nautical accidents that occurred to yachts in 2022, month by month

We report to you below the incredible summary list of accidents that occurred in 2022 to yachts and boats (so far!):

  • January 11th 2022

The first accident of 2022 is dated 11 January and concerns the fire at the Italian Ferretti shipyard in Cattolica. The event destroyed a 30-meter superyacht ready for delivery. According to the Ferretti Group statements, the boat was under construction, and the fire, which causes are unknown, had been contained and caused no injuries thanks to the safety procedures immediately activated.

  • February 28th 2022

On February 28, the Spanish media spread the news that the 47.73-meter superyacht Lady Anastasia, valued at around 6.5 million euros and believed to be the property of a Russian arms dealer, had suffered a sinking attempt by Taras Ostapchuk, Ukrainian chief engineer aboard the superyacht. The incident happened in Port Adriano, Spain.

According to various media reports, the sinking attempt was provoked when Ostapchuk saw a video of a missile hitting an apartment building in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital. The bomber said he did it as a symbolic gesture against the Russian attack on his homeland.

  • March 16th 2022

On this date, the 53-meter superyacht Vixit, from the Swedish shipyard Oskarshamns Varv, runs aground near the village of Ligui in Mexico. According to reports, the yacht was damaged in three different areas, and, once refloated, she was towed to the nearest port for repair. Fortunately, there have been no reports of fuel leaks.

  • April 11th 2022

In April, a fire hit and seriously damaged the 27-meter Pesa yacht, built by the Sanlorenzo shipyard in 2020. The boat was in the North Marina of Valencia, Spain, when a severe fire broke out. It immediately appeared challenging to tame and engage about three fire brigade platoons for 12 hours.

During the fire, dozens of boats moored in line very close to the flames were removed as a precaution, and a pollution barrier was placed in the water.

  • May 30th 2022

The same fate, if not worse, hit the 26-meter yacht Princess Rendezvous, destroyed in a fire in Torquay, Devon, UK. The Environment Agency, unfortunately, let the press know of the ship sinking with about 9 tons of diesel on board. The causes of the fire are still unknown.

  • May 31st 2022

On this date, the 59-meter superyacht Austal was caught by the high tide as it was sailing on the waterways near the city of Pisa, Italy, and collided with a bridge. The yacht had recently undergone a refit, which included a new coat of paint and the installation of a helipad.

  • June 10th 2022

Two incidents occurred in June. The first is dated June 10th and involved the 50-meter schooner Eleonora E. of Van der Graaf, which was hit and sunk by a 60-meter rescue ship in Port Tárraco, Tarragona, Spain.

At the end of the month, a 26-meter Custom Line yacht began taking on water and sinking off the Turkish coast. The Coast Guard intervened and towed the boat to a fishermen’s refuge, saving the 10 people on board.

  • July 2022

July was awarded the black jersey for accidents at sea. Five incidents occurred during this month:

The first involved a 29-meter Ferretti yacht named “In Too Deep,” which ran aground on Long Island, New York, after hitting its bow against the beach at 6.8 knots. The yacht was brought back to Strong’s Marine dock in Mattituck.

Also in July, in Greece, the 27.2-meter Ferretti model 880 yacht, Green Whisper, sank off the island of Paxos. The three passengers on board were saved thanks to the local coast guard.

The third accident in July concerns the Pershing 88 called the “Cinque” fire. It was located off the coast of Positano. No injuries, according to local media, thanks to the immediate transfer of guests and crew to the tender. The cause of the fire appears to have been a short circuit in the engine room.

The following incident concerns the Belgor motor yacht, involved in a chase and capture by the Turkish Coast Guard, who suspected the boat’s involved in drug smuggling. The Coast Guard chased the ship, shooting and ramming the yacht until the people on board tried to escape.

The fifth and final incident concerns the 33-meter yacht Ion Fedra, stranded in Mykonos, Greece. Due to the collision, the yacht began to take on water, and to prevent Ion Phaedra from sinking; local firefighters had to pump water inside the hull.

  • August 2022

Even August sadly stood out for news of boat accidents.

A fire marked the first day of the month aboard the 27-meter Canados Hooligan and her subsequent sinking in Estonia. According to press reports, the cause was a severe technical failure.

On 4 August, another fire aboard the 34-meter yacht Bilgin Good Vibes in Ibiza in the Es Freus area was caused by an explosion in the Turkish yacht engine room. In five hours, the fire was extinguished, but the damaged hull remained half-sunk in the water.

Another incident occurred in India in Mandawa: a Swiss experimental yacht named Porrima caught fire due to an explosion in the battery compartment. The five people on board were saved thanks to the immediate Coast Guard intervention, which responded to the SOS in critical weather conditions due to rain and strong winds.

The latest accident involved the 39-meter yacht Saga, which sank in the Gulf of Squillace. Built in Italy in 2007 by Monaco Yachting & Technologies, the yacht began to take on water. Despite a tugboat arriving on site, the boat finally sank due to adverse weather conditions.

  • September 2022

A fire broke out on September 1st aboard the 28.15-meter Sunseeker Black Diamond yacht at the IMS maintenance and repair shipyard in Saint-Mandrier, France.

The yacht fire, which causes are still unknown, destroyed the yacht, which was marked as a total loss by the authorities.

The sinking of the 49-meter superyacht 007 in Greece was reported in the early hours of September 3td. The accident took place off the Greek island of Kythnos, and from the images, it seems that the yacht first ran aground, causing an influx of water that gradually tilted the ship. The Coast Guard reached the ship when she was already in a semi-submerged state and took steps to stabilize her.

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