A superyacht worth $51m owned by multimillionaire JR Ridinger crashed into a gas tanker and caused it to sink.
“The catastrophic force of the collision pierced the stern of the tanker causing the tanker to sink to the ocean floor at an estimated depth of 2,000 feet,” Maritime Management, which owns the Tropic Breeze, told the Caribbean National Weekly.
They added that all “non-persistent materials”, such as liquefied petroleum gas, marine gas, and automotive gas, “are lighter than water and will evaporate if exposed to surface air”.
Another superyacht, the Amara, passed the sinking ship and rescued the crew members. It’s unclear if Mr Ridinger was on the yacht during the collision. He’s the CEO of Market America and Shop.com.
The ship has engines from Rolls Royce to power it along and can host 12 sleeping guests, with the interior featuring brands such as Hermes and Armani. The owner’s quarters also feature a jacuzzi and a pool with a glass bottom.
Mr Ridinger and his wife Loren put their West Chelsea duplex up for sale in July 2020. The apartment was close to the parking space for their ship at Chelsea Piers.
“We’ve always been avid yachters so having our yacht across the street was super convenient,” she told The New York Post.
“The Port Department has begun a formal investigation into the incident, and the Department of Environmental Health is also conducting a review of the environmental impact. These activities are currently underway,” the Bahamas Ministry of Transport and Housing said in a statement according to the Caribbean National Weekly.
Utopia IV was built in 2018 at the Italian shipyard Rossinavi. The tanker measured 160 feet (49 metres) compared to the yacht’s 207 feet (63 metres).
Maritime Management added in their statement that the tanker, which is registered in Belize, was inspected this month “and was found by the authorities to be fully compliant with all national and international safety and vessel integrity standards”.
“Due to the depth of the ocean at the location of the sinking, it has been determined that the tanker cannot be safely salvaged,” they said.