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Old 16-09-2004, 04:22 PM   #1
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Oh Shit

Wouldn't like to be the insurance broker for this one!

Mirabella on the rocks

Mirabella V, Joe Vittoria's 246ft Ron Holland-designed yacht launched earlier this year is in trouble on the French Riviera.

The much-heralded super sloop, built by Vosper Thornycroft at Southampton, UK, put out an emergency call at 1200 local today requesting assistance from other vessels in the St Jean Cap Ferrat area. She had apparently run onto rocks near the entrance to Beaulieu sur Mer harbour, having dragged her anchor. Winds are reportedly Force 6-7 and Mirabella is on a lee shore.

The 206ft explorer yacht Big Roi and Roman Abramovich's 282ft motor yacht Ecstasea stood by Mirabella from approx 1300 and have been trying to get lines on her. Big Roi has succeeded twice but on each case the tow has parted, despite Mirabella also running her machinery to assist. On one of the attempts a 40-tonne bollard was pulled out of Big Roi's aft deck. At the time of this report Ecstasea was preparing an attempt at a tow and Mirabella was in the process of passing Spectra lines across.

Female crew aboard the super sloop have just been evacuated, there are reports of oil and debris indicating hull damage and there are now some fears regarding the potential loss of the mast which measures 293ft. It also seems likely that control of the hydraulically-operated keel has been lost and that the keel itself might have dropped, hampering the recovery process.

The nearest deep sea tug is reported to be several hours away.



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Old 17-09-2004, 08:04 PM   #2
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Country: Job Centre
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Joe Vittoria's 246ft Vosper Thornycroft-built yacht, that grounded yesterday off Beaulieu sur Mer, is being assessed for further action by a salvage team controlled by insurers.

As dawn broke off the French Riviera this morning Mirabella V was still hard and fast. The rescue tug Nerou is standing by, she has a line attached to the stricken yacht and divers will shortly inspect Mirabella's hull and keel.

The weather this morning is fair with no more than five knots of breeze from the south and no sea running. Weather is due to stay relatively benign over the next few days but predominantly sunny weather will bring boisterous onshore breezes in the afternoons, which will not help the situation. If the re-floating of Mirabella is successful she will be towed to La Ciotat near Marseilles where she can be dry docked.

According to Tim Thomas, one time reporter for Yachting World, who is watching developments from the shoreline, Mirabella appears to be sitting high on her marks but there is no sign of any listing. "She may have emptied some of her tanks," said Tim. He also noted that Mirabella's anchor chain appeared not to be sitting in its fairlead at the point at which it exits the hull on the stem. It is also apparent that Mirabella's keel is not in the fully up position, although earlier reports suggest that it might have been raised. When it is fully retracted the top of the fin protrudes through the top of the coachroof and there is no sign of this at the moment, which suggests there is a problem with the lift mechanism.

Divers will be assessing the risks associated with dragging the yacht off of her position. She is said to be resting on her keelbox. As of last night reports suggested that there had been no breaching of the hull. The giant rig is still standing.
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Old 17-09-2004, 09:27 PM   #3
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Well, at least its only £50mil's worth, and nothing to worry about

If he'd asked me, I'd never have told him to buy an anchor from New Zealand. Or as they say "E tu whakaruru hau nei"

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