Biggest single-masted sailing ship runs agroundoff French Riviera

17th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

MARSEILLE, France, Sept 17 (AFP) - Efforts to re-float a massive, EUR 45 million (USD 55 million) luxury yacht which ran aground on the French Riviera were proceeding with difficulty Friday, French coast guard officials said.

MARSEILLE, France, Sept 17 (AFP) - Efforts to re-float a massive, EUR 45 million (USD 55 million) luxury yacht which ran aground on the French Riviera were proceeding with difficulty Friday, French coast guard officials said.  

The Mirabella V, a British-flagged sloop that is ranked as the biggest single-masted sailing ship in the world, found itself in its embarrassing predicament late Thursday, when winds and currents pushed it ashore while its crew was dining.  

The 150-tonne vessel, measuring 75 metres (246 feet) in length and boasting a 90-metre high mast, slammed ashore in a bay next to the millionaire haven of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, the coast guard said.  

There were no passengers on board at the time.  

After inspections determined there were no hull breaches, attempts were made to free it Friday using a tug but they failed because of damage to the ship's hydraulic steering system.  

The sloop was made by a shipyard in Southampton, England and delivered to its wealthy US owner, former Avis car rental chairman Joe Vittoria, early this year.  

He rents it out for USD 250,000 (EUR 200,000) per week, complete with its cellar containing 600 bottles of excellent wine, an open-deck cinema, a Jacuzzi and, presumably, hefty accident insurance.

 

© AFP

Subject: French News

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