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Yacht Serena III sinks off Ft. Lauderdale

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Ken Bracewell, Jan 25, 2016.

  1. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    That a 2012 yacht is worth quite a bit more being a classed vessel (especially being a Brazilian build), than not paying to have a class surveyor simply survey it. It leads me to believe that the vessel had many things that would've cost money to fix to have it meet class rules. We're not talking about a 35 year old motoryacht with a value of $1 million.

    The mate stated they were alerted to it by the boat listing to port and the Captain went to investigate, there was no mention of any alarms and alarms would alert them faster then the boat would've had so much water in it that it listed. They didn't mention hitting anything.

    "According to Sea Tow Marine[​IMG] Towing and Salvage, the Serena III yacht sent out a distress call shortly before 6 pm Monday about the boat taking on water and less than two hours later the yacht was gone."

    So what we have here is a steel hulled vessel built to class that just sank in under 2 hours. So we have a major flooding situation and nothing was mentioned of hitting anything. Don't you read the news articles??? The mate stated that they were alerted to the problem because the boat was listing to port. It takes quite a few gallons to make a 120' boat list enough to notice it from the helm, that a high water alarm if equipped would have alerted to much sooner.
  2. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    AND it cost more to keep a class or flagged crew. I think I'm getting some of this and it's where I'm leaning.


    That statement of the captain going below and checking still bugs me. There were 6 others that some should of already been reporting to him.
  3. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    No sweat, I never thought you had anything other than well formed questions and input, certainly no suggestion of implying other reasons for dropping class. My comments on dropping class were directed at other readers who may have been led by the ill informed to believe that such an action could only be associated with some kind of seaworthiness issue or false economy.

    Lacking information to the contrary I too cannot see any reason this boat should have sunk other than a failure of the crew to prevent it. Yogi II in my opinion.
  4. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    "I've never seen waterproof/fire proof doors between staterooms or between the galley and salon or other living spaces on a classed yacht."

    Interesting, fire doors between some of those areas were a class requirement on the classed vessels I have been involved with.
  5. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    Yes, it is interesting and it completes the circle back to what I believe is one of the underlying components of some "curious" yacht losses over the years. It also touches on the excellent question from rcrapps in post #116 about crew competence on classed vessels.

    As I stated in response, class does not determine manning, that is the realm of flag but on smaller classed vessels operating in coastal waters the manning requirements are not exactly stringent and if operated privately are virtually non existent. Anyone can call himself a "captain" mate or engineer on a privately operated boat that doesn't carry a paying "guest."

    There is often little or no oversight of training or even vessel familiarity with fire and bilge pumping systems, compartmentalization and subdivision or fire protection. Many supposedly experienced crew don't even know what that means. What the crew knows or can perform in an emergency is left to the captain's personal approach and attitude. If the captain came from the world of boats where the crew consisted of a captain and a single mate and gradually worked up to larger boats and crews through association with a generous owner who all too often places loyalty above training and management skills, he might find himself in command of a crew of 7 or 8 people and a boat full of passengers who believe he has the training, education, and skills needed to understand what is required to operate that boat in an emergency.

    If there is a single aspect of the yacht crewing system I wish the regulators would take more interest, it is the fact that the route to leadership in both deck and engine departments does not require a substantial (too often none) period of working under the supervision of a properly trained and experienced superior along with formal education and training. Zero to hero is not really a joke ... Bad habits learned from self made "officers" make a poor foundation on which to build a career that demands the technical and leadership components needed to build an effective crew.

    The cynical me fully understands that no one really gives a s**t about this stuff at this level. If an aircraft with 13 people ditched a few miles off Sunrise, Fort Lauderdale would still be crawling with investigators and analysts. The cold reality is that we will never know what happened and where the "system" fell apart. "Guests" will continue to believe that their lives are in the hands of skilled, competent, and thoroughly vetted mariners.
  6. BoulderGT3

    BoulderGT3 Senior Member

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    Any idea when any of the interviews will become public so there is some insight as to how the water entered the boat? With 13 people on the boat I'm surprised there hasn't been more direct information even if attorneys are trying to keep them quiet while the investigation proceeds.
  7. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    There was no loss of life and (so far) no pollution so it is very likely that we have heard all there is to hear about this incident. Any investigation of the reasons for the loss is the responsibility of the flag state (reported as Brazil) and unless there is a compelling reason for the port state (USCG in this case) to get involved I don't think Brazil is going to send a team of investigators or a ROV to locate and survey the wreck.

    The cynical me just surfaced again ... a few years ago a cruise ship ran aground while drifting off the USVI waiting for an early morning arrival. It grounded on an underwater national park, damaged the CP screws and dumped a bunch of oil in the water. The incident was not reported by the ship, several passengers called the CG the next day and reported it. The USCG would not investigate the incident because it was the responsibility of the flag state - Liberia - to investigate. The flag "state" at the time was actually an insurance company based in Washington D.C. Case closed.

    Don't hold your breath waiting for information that might help prevent another occurrence of this type of loss.
  8. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    To go from the ECR to or from my cabin door requires passing through 2 fire doors and 6 water tight doors. If I were further forward in the accom there would be another one to pass through. We have a lot of fire doors and water tight doors on here. This is a classed yacht.

    We have dedicated routines for the testing of the bilge alarm sensors and fire alarm system detectors.
  9. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I agree as to the actually investigating of the sinking. The only one who may actually send a submarine down or investigate the sinking may be the insurance company.
  10. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    I would think their interviews of all the passengers will be interesting, plus of any recent shipyard it's been in or serviced by. I bet they're get many conflicting stories but be able to sort it through close to the truth. Just don't know if they'll be able to determine the cause of the inflow, as it doesn't seem likely anyone got to the ER in time to be able to tell. It is possible they'll be able to see with a camera if there is any sign of external damage.
  11. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    If, as it appears on the video, the engine room and laz access doors were open at the stern and main deck and the flooding was as reported to have begun in the accomodation space the reason it sank is because no one made any effort whatsoever to confine the flooding to the single compartment where it began.

    If the engine room flooded but the w/t doors were secured as they should have been the boat would be at a dock in Fort Lauderdale today. If the flooding started in the accomodation space and they closed the w/t doors they would be at the dock. It was a single compartment boat, any single compartment could be flooded and the boat would not sink if they acted properly

    The visual evidence and their own statements seem to indicate that they did nothing to prevent this event.
  12. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Agree 100%. Now perhaps someone did something that hasn't been made public but all we've been told is the Captain went to look and it was too far along to do anything.
  13. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    The visual evidence and their own statements seem to indicate that they did nothing to prevent this event.

    ... but all we've been told is the Captain went to look and it was too far along to do anything.

    Yep..
    Yogi II in my opinion also....
  14. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    I'll give you all that. And while we don't know exactly what happened, we do know the crew got everybody on board off with no injuries and at night. So at least they did somethings right.
  15. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Yes,, all are safe. The most important part of any incident.
    However;
    I feel a correctly operating crew could of saved the ship also, IMO.
  16. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    Without know exactly what happened you can't really say that. While I think it certainly seems as if they should have found the leak earlier, without know what, how and why it was taking on water, there really is no way of know if they could have stopped it even if they had found it right away.

    Just saying. :)
  17. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Bingo on the insurance company: The exact same thing happened a few years ago of the SE FL coast:
    The insurance company went down with Jason type ROV and found enough evidence to deny the insurance claim. It was all over the local papers, but dead brain cells prevents me from posting details.
  18. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Expanding on my last line above;

    I used to be a part of a Sea Tow company. We often talked about different scenarios.
    A flooded ship (yacht, boat, canoe) at sea was a common topic.

    The responding company acted correctly. Without risking personal loss searching for an unknown failure, as equipped as they were, They did not go on. I did agree with that.

    Maybe a hour more or less before, or if the crew made any response to their condition, or could report what/where the failure was from, could of been a different decision.

    The boat did not have to sink.
  19. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    That is correct, we simply don't know, but ... if the boat was flooding in an accomodation compartment as they claim, they should have, could have, closed the watertight doors on that compartment and the boat should not have sunk.

    They never said the engine room was the source of flooding and if that is correct then they should have had pumping capability available to remove what other water had made it in. If they lost the engine room due to flooding before even discovering the boat was flooding then I would think the underwriters have a good excuse to walk away laughing.

    Yogi II it seems to be.
  20. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Meh think the underwriters would have a copy of recent surveys as well as copies of maintenance and operational procedures and other pertinent details before they agree to cover such a vessel in good faith.

    Class or no Class, the boat should be covered by insurance even if the cause was a stabilizer knocked loose after a soft grounding.

    (Been in and out of the same area many times: Too close to the Green Marker and you will touch bottom or something. )