Proteksan Turquoise issued the most recent public statement from any of the parties linked to its 60m superyacht, Yogi, on 12 March. The vessel itself sank off the coast of Skyros, Greece on 17 February, triggering much theorising on the possible cause of the sinking.
Proteksan’s latest statement, which it has declared to be the final word on the matter unless there are further unseen developments, states that all the relevant ‘stakeholders’ have now had the opportunity to confer in the presence of their lawyers.
According to the Turkish yard’s media representative John Wickham, although the contents of the 9 March meeting in Paris will remain confidential, “[Proteksan has] also conducted [its] own internal inquiry into the sinking, including analysing the yacht’s naval architecture, the construction methods and techniques employed by [Proteksan] in building the yacht. Proteksan-Turquoise is firmly of the opinion that the sinking is not attributable to anything structural or technical which would have compromised her seaworthiness.”
Wickham went on to say that Yogi had been surveyed and certified by the American Bureau of Shipping, LY2 compliant, and surveyed and approved by the French flag authority.
SuperyachtNews.com contacted the Registre International Français (RIF), the French authority to which the yacht was registered, to enquire as to the likelihood of an investigation reaching any conclusions. Although our source did not wish to be named, she confirmed that an investigation is underway:
“There is a special unit that is currently investigating the sinking of motoryacht Yogi on behalf of RIF. They will answer no question at this time because the investigation is still ongoing but they will deliver their final conclusions in two to three months.”
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) requires that its members submit a preliminary accident report within six months of the incident, with a submission of a full report upon completion of the investigation. SuperyachtNews.com contacted the IMO to discuss the information that had been relayed to them by the French authority up to now. Our source said that the IMO would not expect to receive a report so soon after the incident occurred.
At the time of writing, our source confirmed, the sinking had not been recorded by the IMO as a listed incident, and this is unlikely to change, we were told, until the flag state has submitted a report.
“If there haven’t been any injuries or deaths, we wouldn’t necessarily include it [in the database], unless there are aspects that are particularly relevant to IMO regulations,” our source said.
If the results of RIF’s report were to highlight any issues that were relevant to IMO regulations, the latter would expect it to be submitted with its full investigation procedure being implemented. When a report is received it is logged and then passed on to a specialist sub-committee that evaluates its relevance to the wider industry before deciding what action to take.
The source added that the requirement to submit an accident report is actually a recommendation, which depends on a multitude of variables. In this instance, whether a submission is required, “would depend on what they find and whether it’s relevant to IMO regulations.” “If it turns out to be a very straightforward reason, then there isn’t much rationale behind bringing it to the attention of the IMO.”
The findings of RIF then, are more likely to interest the insurance industry, as CRS Yachts’ Simon Ballard said whilst speaking at the Superyacht Fiscal Summit. The sinking will not only change the perception of superyachts as ultra-low risk assets, simultaneously forcing the price of premiums up, Ballard predicted, but may also be the subject of a ‘protracted pay-out process’ when the results are published.
With thanks to Will Mathieson, Editor at SuperyachtNews.com.