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VIDEO: Why did superyacht sink?

The Greek coast guard rescued eight people from a 197-foot French-registered superyacht as it sank last week in the Aegean Sea because of what is being called a “mechanical failure.”

The incident happened in gale-force winds off the island of Skyros. The captain of Yogi, which has a steel hull and an aluminum superstructure, sent out a distress signal Feb. 17, prompting the dispatch of two coast guard vessels, two Hellenic Air Force helicopters and a navy frigate.

A video shows the yacht, built last year by the Turkish firm Proteksan Turquoise Yachts, listing to starboard with people standing on the port weather deck, waiting to be rescued. The eight were transported to Skyros, and then to Athens. Proteksan Turquoise, in a statement, thanked the coast guard and said the cause of the sinking was unclear.

Click play for footage of the rescue.

Soundings technical writer Eric Sorensen, a consultant to boat- and shipbuilders, said the ordeal serves as a reminder of the importance of proper engineering and construction, especially the incorporation of watertight compartments in the hull. Click here for his analysis.

Powered with twin 1,911-hp Caterpillar diesels, Yogi reaches 16 knots and cruises at 12, according to Yachts International, which, like Soundings, is part of Active Interest Media’s Marine Group. She was acquired by Burgess Yachts last year for chartering and is the largest yacht to fly the French flag.

"The shipyard has a well-earned reputation for building well-specified yachts of good quality, incorporating all the latest safety features," Burgess said in a statement. "To date, Proteksan Turquoise yachts have always enjoyed a flawless record of safety and reliability."

Drawing 10 feet, Yogi can accommodate as many as 12 guests in six staterooms and has more than 2,624 square feet of living space and 1,640 square feet of deck space, including a glass-bottom, 13-by-16-foot pool and Jacuzzi.

Proteksan Turquoise was born of the merger of two experienced builders, Hayati Kamhi and Mehmet Karabeyoglu, according to Yachts International. The shipyard, a member of the Superyacht Builders Association since 2010, builds all-aluminum or aluminum/steel yachts and has forged a reputation that has attracted high-profile owners, including the Russian government, according to the publication.

Click here for a recent Yachts International feature on Yogi and two other superyachts.

Click here for Yogi's specs and click here for arrangement drawings.

Comments (4) Comments are closed
4 Saturday, 10 March 2012 16:30
Mike Creamer
My first thought is there was a massave failure of the through hull fittings which over whelmed the bilge pumps. Secondly when it started to list to starboard did the low windows fail. Who in Gods green earth design windowns so low to the water line.
3 Friday, 02 March 2012 18:02
Captain Howard E. Johannssen
Seems very odd to me, a gale should have little to do with the sinking. I look forward to facts that may be forth coming from a valid maritime investigation. I would hope that sabotage be vigorously investigated along with owner, operator and crew member credentials.
2 Friday, 02 March 2012 03:57
I think someone is lying about what really happened. I would like to know more about the owner and the captain's history. Has the captain ever lost a yacht before and if so under what circumstances. Is the owner suddenly having financial problems. Have you seen the architectural drawings yet?
1 Tuesday, 28 February 2012 19:54
Gerald Curylo
Operational error or poor piloting ?
fbtwit yt

Great Gear,