October 7, 2004. Rumours concerning the incident seem to be escalating, rather than fading away. BYM asked Mirabella V Project Manager, Paul Johnson, to replace rumour with fact.

Rumour - When Mirabella V went aground, her top anchor was missing.

A new picture of Mirabella on the rocks was posted today on the BYM Forum. The poster said “the top (smaller) anchor is missing.

Click HERE to view the photo and post.

Paul Johnson told BYM that the top anchor was not missing and pointed out that there were plenty of other photographs, taken whilst the yacht was aground, to prove it.

Rumour - There was nobody on anchor watch when Mirabella V began to drag her anchor.

Paul Johnson told BYM that the skipper was on anchor watch.

He realised the yacht was dragging slowly and took the decision to leave. It was a case of “dragging slowly, let’s go, squall comes, rocks.”

Rumour - Mirabella V had previously dragged her anchor and grounded in Italian waters.

Paul Johnson told BYM that is entirely untrue, pointing out that the insurers & regulatory authorities would have had to be informed if such a thing had happened.

Rumour - Mirabella V’s Captain, Johno Johnson, was “kicked into touch” this morning.

Paul Johnson told BYM that Johno has not been kicked into touch. Paul added “You can quote me as saying that Johno is the safest skipper you could want to be with - this is a one off.” Paul further described Johno as someone very professional and safety conscious. To illustrate his point he said that that when people come aboard Johno explains how to use a life jacket before they even get to their cabins.

Paul continued, saying that Johno knew he had made a mistake, but there was no way he would be sacked for it. He also praised the sterling work Johno was doing in getting the keel stabilised for the voyage back to Portsmouth and said that he expected the yacht would be ready to leave on Saturday.

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