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Proteksan Turquoise Speaks after Sinking of Yogi

Feb 18th 12

Less than one year old, the 60.2-meter (198ft) M/Y Yogi sank Friday, February 17, 19 miles off the coast of Skyros, Greece, in the Aegean Sea. The yacht was en route from Turkey where she had finished a warranty period, to her berth in the Med. All eight French crew aboard were rescued by the Hellenic Air Force. Capt. Jean Louis Carrel told Greek authorities that although the weather was rough, he believed the sinking was a result of a mechanical failure with the exhaust system.

Boat International has an exclusive interview with the yacht’s builder, Mehmet Karabeyoglu, of Turkish builder Proteksan Turquoise, who was obviously distraught over the accident.

“What I find surprising is that [from] the first mayday call to the boat sinking was nearly seven hours. They had power as you can see lights on [in the video shot by the Hellenic rescue team],” said Karabeyoglu.
“What we can see [from the images and the video footage] is that she survived seven hours without turning over. So this is enough reason for us to believe she could have been saved — although we are not blaming anyone. There was a Force 8 so the weather made things difficult, but she did not sink due to the weather,” he said.

Responding to question about an exhaust system accident and loss of engine power reported by the crew, he said, “They have said it was mechanical failure, that one engine overheated, and broke the exhaust bellows — but there’s a valve underneath it.”

The Hellenic rescue video shows the Yogi crew appropriately mustered on deck next to the wheelhouse wearing their bright red survival suits when the rescue helicopter approached.  A large life raft was deployed and crew clambered down the port side of the heavily listing yacht to the raft where they were rescued by the military swimmers.
“At first we thought all these things happened fairly quickly. But the mayday was 0030am, and the rescue happened at 0730.
“My partner has spoken to the owner. He is obviously not happy, he loved the boat. She was just repainted, but we did no work in the engine room as it was perfect. No mechanical work other than routine service of the Cat engines. Perhaps they took bad fuel when they refueled in Istanbul.
“It’s the first time [a loss of vessel] has happened for us, so we not sure what happens next,” said Karabeyoglu. “We have [already] sent people to Athens who will meet with the crew and interview them; we’re doing everything we can to understand what happened. There will be the testimony of crew and the video. You can see water coming out of the side and power on the vessel [i.e. lights were on] so the generators were running — you can tell many things, so the engine room was not flooded. You can see [in the video] exhaust coming from the hull side so one of engine room generators was running.”
Karabeyoglu also told Boat International Media that in addition to being able to use the engines to pump water out, there were three bilge pumps, one more than class required. The yacht had three generators plus the emergency generator.

M/Y Yogi registered 1028 GT and was built to ABS A1, +AMS and was classed as Commercial Yachting Service (E). Her profile and interior was designed by Jean Guy Verges, who has designed six other builds by the yard. Yogi was the second of three large yachts delivered by Proteksan Turquoise in 2011.

John Wickham, who issued a statement on behalf of the builder, said that the yard is actively investigating the details and will release details as available.


"Proteksan Turquoise, the Turkish shipyard that constructed the 60 metre yacht, MY Yogi, that sank off Skyros, Greece on February 17, wishes to explain that none of their representatives, nor their lawyers, has been able to interview the Captain and crew or obtain their written statements to date and the indications are that it will be a further ten days or so before they will meet with them. The only contact that has been made was when the Captain made a phone call to the shipyard after he had been rescued and was safely ashore on Skyros.
It is for this reason that Proteksan Turquoise has not been in a position to release any further statements beyond the one sent out on Friday, February 17, as it feels that it is important to have all the facts relating to the incident before commenting further."

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  • clearly the exhaust port valve must not have been closed, which tells me the ER was not manned, and the main engine was shut down so water entry was only from the open exhaust port adn may easily have been contained ... operator error or gross misconduct is my guess although we may not know other details.
    Posted by Marazul 30/09/2012 13:09:08

  • if the logged times are correct, that the mayday call has been made at 00.30am and the vessel was still floating at 07.30am with a running generator supplying power to the boats main switch board, before the rescue mission started, means that the engine room normaly could not have been totaly flooded, and that the fuel supply ( quality ) must have been ok, due generators and main engines draw from the same fuel day tank.
    as it has been mentioned before, an overheating engine has an automatic emergency stop, which is linked to its water temperature. as well, there are temperature gauges at the exhaust system, where the temparature of the exhaust is indicated. a broken exhaust elbow before the overboard valve, could be sorted out by closing this valve.
    however it is impossible to judge on this incident without knowing all the details.
    the most important, that all sailors have been saved and everybody is well. at the end of the day, that is what really counts, even many questions still will be asked and have to be answered.
    Posted by Botti 26/02/2012 14:06:18

  • Ian the oblong things area the ships stabilizers.
    I find it hard to believe that the vessel would have sunk on a exhaust failier. Where was the chief and second engineer? I agree with Simi on his comment.
    It reads Scuttle Job! with the head line wright up.
    Glad everyone is ok too.
    Stretch Armstrong.
    Posted by Stretch 22/02/2012 14:36:04

  • Hard to believe it would take so many hours after mayday was called for an exhaust system leak to overwhelm 3 main bilge pumps plus at least one main engine driven auxilliary bilge pump with a generator still operating as indicated in the article. That seems a lot of time for damage control efforts to stop a leak.
    Either a massive leak that was being handled well almost immediately but eventually overwhelmed systems & efforts or a less drastic leak and failures of the bilge pumps added significantly to the cascade of events.
    Hindsight being 20/20 as they say none of us will know what happened until the crew that had to deal with it can tell us. Glad they are OK & I hope we all eventually learn something from this that will keep us safe in the future.
    She's down hard by the stern. Gotta wonder about rudder & shaft packing etc.
    I can see the port stabilizer fin appearing intact in the last photo. Is that what you mean by "oblong item(s)" Ian? I can't see the starboard one. Any failure in these systems or a combination of such failures could have contributed to the loss of the ship.
    Posted by diverdan 22/02/2012 03:38:09

  • Engine overheat due to poor fuel quality and broke exhaust bellows? Engines can only overheat if there's no cooling water also there should be over temp shut down fitted on the engine. Normally underwater exhaust pipes runs above waterline making it impossible for water ingression and there should be a discharge valve connected on the exhaust pipe closer to the hull.
    Posted by Simi 22/02/2012 00:06:46

  • Glad all onboard are safe, just for interest, what are/is the oblong items near the bow thruster in the last picture?
    Posted by Ian Fenton 21/02/2012 23:42:14

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