Yacht Hop now berthed in Sint Maarten

The vessel Yacht Hop, whose captain is a British man living in mainland Var (South of France), ran aground at the beginning of March in Baie Nettle. It was towed on May 29th and brought to the Fort Louis marina and is now in Sint Maarten waters where it must be repaired. It was towed Saturday morning toward Simpson Bay.

The French authorities found several maritime offenses. The main offense was to use an inadequate mooring with a deteriorated ship and failure to keep watch that lead to the ship running aground and a oil spill in territorial waters, which is the reason for the second infraction.

As a reminder, in the night of February 28th to March 1st, the mooring, which was too light, broke and the rope caught in the propeller preventing the pilot from maneuvering. The chief mechanic, the only person on board at the time, had no means of communication, so no warning message was sent to CROSS Antilles-Guyane.

Moreover, many rumors circulated about the Yacht Hop illegally transporting fuel. Many news articles (mostly Canadian) reported the contraband activity. However, the French authorities who inspected the ship did not find any additional fuel other than what was used by the ship. Many 1,000-liter barrels where found on board, but they were empty.

The record of the maritime offenses drawn up in Saint-Martin was transmitted to the court in Cayenne, Guyana, that is suitably qualified in the field.

Estelle Gasnet
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