On Saturday morning a salvage team from St. Maarten salvaged a French sailing yacht from the rocks in Ladder Bay.
On Monday the yacht had drifted of its mooring and stranded on the rocks. The crew, a family of five with three small children had spend the night ashore. No one got hurt in the accident.
The salvage mission was complicated by a significant surf that had developed during the week. The third attempt to pull the yacht of the rocks was a success. The boat was seriously damaged, but the professionals got it in time along the tug to keep it afloat.
The cause of the accident is being investigated by the Marine Park who is responsible for the maintenance of the moorings.
Update by Kai Wulf, Saba Park Manager:
For clarification, the preparations were done by SCF staff with assistance of the yacht owner for the past 3 days. Today’s salvage was coordinated by Mr. Stuart Knaggs of Deep Blue Marine in St. Maarten, involving the tug Amstelstroom from Martinique, a team of 5 divers from the SCF, 2 Marine Park vessels and much other equipment, as can be seen in the video. There was further assistance by Niki and Brian Johnson on Briana Jamie, who provided flotation devices, dive support among others. Due to the extreme ground swells, the exercise was very dangerous and we are happy that besides minor bruises and cuts, nobody was seriously hurt. The SCF staff and the fishermen should be applauded for their great efforts beyond the call of duty, which ultimately lead to success!
The French crew left the yacht for a 3 day land break on Saba, after 6 months of sailing. Unfortunately, because of the adverse weather conditions, the mooring line got caught under the bilge-keel and rudder, chafing through it by the constant wave action. The mooring was in perfect shape, installed just 2 weeks ago. Generally, skippers must not leave their vessels unattended to be able to react to such circumstances.
Nonetheless, locals donated money and clothes to the beraved family. A SCF staff member and the Island Government provided free accommodation and everything possible was done to help the family in their difficult time.