Some facts

October 5 update. We are now able to add certain facts to this article.

Vosper Thorneycroft to carry out repairs

As announced on BYM News, last night,the repairs to Mirabella V will be carried out by her builder, Vosper Thorneycroft.

Project Manager, Paul Johnson has confirmed that the decision to have VT carry out the repairs had been taken so that the full warranty on the keel could be restored. He also said that Captain Johno Johnson would be bringing her back. Paul was unable to say how long repairs would take, but said that Mirabella V would definitely have a Carribean season.

Isle of Man enquiry

Dick Welsh, Principle Marine Surveyor for the Isle of Man, has told BYM that the report on the incident is unlikely to be ready for 3 months and could take even longer to compile, as there are technical aspects to consider.

Despite the lack of injures or environmental damage, the Isle of Man - as the flag state - is required to carry out an investigation and report to the IMO, since a grounding is defined as a serious incident by IMO Resolution A 849 (20) of December 1, 1997; Code for Investigation of Marine Casulaties.

French enquiry

The French authorities have confirmed that they will not be carrying out an independent marine enquiry, but have not yet ruled out the possibility of a judicial enquiry.

V Yachts audit

There has been some speculation as to why V Yachts was carrying out an ISM (International Safety Management) Code audit, immediately prior to the grounding, when such an audit would already have been carried out before Mirabella V left the UK.

Alan Armstrong, Managing Director of V Yachts, has explained that, in fact, the audit carried out by V Yachts in the Bay of Beaulieu was NOT an ISM audit, but a normal routine audit, carried out as part of V Yachts ship management services. V Yachts provides the “Designated Person Ashore”, for Mirabella V, as required by the ISM Code.

Alan also said that he believed Mirabella V had been anchored sufficiently far from the rocks.  


The concensus among insurers that BYM has spoken to is that this incident will not result in increased premiums across the yachting spectrum. A spokesman for Pantaenius in Monaco told BYM “Risks on large yachts are taken individually, so it is unlikely to have any general impact.”

How it happened.

Paul Johnson has provided BYM with some facts that clarify how the incident occurred, thus ending a considerable amount of speculation. He told BYM that Mirabella V’s Captain, Johno Johnson, had said that the yacht had been anchored about 400 metres of the rocks. When the wind got up she began to drag very quickly and, as the anchor broke free, was swung round onto the rocks. Paul confirmed that the impression, given in the photograph that Mirabella’s engines were running in reverse is correct, saying it was a question of “On, astern, too late.”

Paul also provided answers to questions about attempts to tow Mirabella V off, saying “At the time of the grounding the keel was in the up position, so we hoped to get her off. It proved impossible because she had been swept up and over a small ledge and was hooked by it. It wasn’t until later that the constant battering damaged the keel box, which then caused the keel to drop into a larger hole between rocks.”

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