M/Y Serena III sinks off Ft. Lauderdale

Jan 26, 2016 by Dorie Cox

YACHT SINKS web

Serena III passengers safe onboard the USCG vessel. (Photo courtesy of USCG)

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued 13 people off a 106-foot yacht that eventually sank about 15 miles east of the Hillsboro Inlet in Ft. Lauderdale on Monday night (Jan. 25).

The USCG received a distress call from the M/Y Serena III via VHF radio at 6:30 p.m., USCG Public Affairs Specialist Jon-Paul Rios said. The yacht is believed to have been built in Brazil, and flies a Brazilian flag.

“We were notified that the vessel was taking on water pretty quickly,” Rios said. “We launched three assets: the cutter Margaret Norvell, one [rescue boat] from Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale, and a Miami station helicopter.”

A small boat aboard the Margaret Norvell was able to come off and rescue the captain, six crew and six passengers, and bring them aboard the Margaret Norvell, he said. They were brought back to Miami and have since been released with no injuries, said Rios.

Because the vessel sank, the USCG will conduct an investigation to find out what happened, Rios said.

One vessel from TowBoatUS Fort Lauderdale was on scene as the vessel began to list and began towing it ashore, but it continued to sink and had to be cut loose, said Larry Acheson, owner of the towing franchise.

“It was too dangerous to get anybody on it,” Acheson said, explaining why his company didn’t attempt to dewater the yacht before beginning the tow. “We had other assets coming, which is what we needed, but there wasn’t time. I couldn’t get enough people there fast enough to do it safely.”

Click for video of yacht sinking.

Click for audio of Mayday call.

Click for story in The Daily Mail.

Although he said he reached the yacht within 30 minutes of the call, he said all the below deck staterooms were already underwater. He released his tow line when it was clear the vessel was going to sink, he said.

Sea Tow of Fort Lauderdale owner Capt. Tim Morgan also responded to the distress call. He said someone aboard the vessel reported they thought they had lost the stabilizer, causing the flooding.

“When we got on scene, the vessel was listing 15 degrees to port,” Morgan said. “We could see the vessel was going to roll over and capsize, so we remained on standby.

“We recovered an 18-foot inflatable tender, a Jet Ski and life raft,” he said. “Everything else went to the bottom.”

Suzette Cook is editor of The Triton. Editor Emeritus Lucy Chabot Reed contributed to this report. Comments are welcome at suzette@the-triton.com.

Topics:

About Dorie Cox

Dorie Cox is a writer with Triton News.

View all posts by Dorie Cox →



Related Articles

Medical training means crew don’t need EpiPens to treat anaphylaxis

Medical training means crew don’t need EpiPens to treat anaphylaxis

By Rebecca Castellano Dominating the news last month was a significant price increase of the EpiPen, an auto-injector device that delivers a pre-measured amount of epinephrine, also known as …

Staff changes at Front Street Shipyard

Staff changes at Front Street Shipyard

Front Street Shipyard’s longtime project manager Mike King retired recently to become a real estate agent in Belfast, Maine, where the shipyard is located. King had supervised some of

New flight to Quito

Ecuador-based TAME Airlines has begun non-stop service from Quito to Ft. Lauderdale. The four-hour flights will be an Airbus 320 with 12 seats in first class and 128 seats

Yachting can bring out the best in us

I really enjoyed the article, “Stew’s service not just for charter guests,” [ page B8, Oct. issue] chronicling Jodi Samuel’s participation in a volunteer project in Africa. …

Believe it or not, motivation comes from more than money

Believe it or not, motivation comes from more than money

Getting 110 percent from your crew all the time rests on more than the monthly salary, charter tip or annual bonus. Move beyond money and watch your people give

Furuno adds chirp to fishfinder

Washington-based Furuno has introduced its first Chirp-enabled Fish Finder, the DFF1-UHD. The DFF1-UHD features TruEcho Chirp, Furuno’s professional-grade broadband fish finding technology. …