At around 10:15 a.m. local time on February 24, M/Y GO drove into the wooden dock of Sint Maarten Yacht Club after a computer malfunction on board caused the yacht to lose its steering as it was attempting to exit Simpson Bay Lagoon from its berth at Isle de Sol Marina, local media The Daily Herald reports.
The accident destroyed most of the wooden decking, but thankfully, no one was on the dock at the time and no other injuries were reported. The Daily Herald states it’s not confirmed how the yacht returned to her berth, but it’s believed her tenders and other vessels pushed it back into the marina.
Sint Maarten Yacht Club’s General Manager Michele Korteweg told The Daily Herald that Go was “lining up to exit the bridge when it appeared there was some sort of engine failure.” The loss of control meant the yacht collided with the wooden docks twice, causing more damage the second time. A section of the wooden dock leading to the outer concrete dock was also damaged. She predicted it would take about two months for everything to return to normal.
The yacht club’s Facebook shared that their “main concern right now is safety; therefore, the Sint Maarten Yacht Club dock is not accessible until further notice due to an accident with a mega yacht” and will share when the dock is safe to use again. They also share that, “the damage is solely structural; however, it is very significant. We are currently assessing the [extent] of the damage to make a plan to rebuild.” The closure of the dock means no dinghy access, provisioning, drop offs, etc.
In the meantime for those in the area, they refer you to “the police dock by the bridge (open til 6 p.m.) or the dock by Nowhere Special (no lights at night). Of course, there is also Dinghy Dock further down the road.”
Photo: Sint Maarten Yacht Club's Facebook