On August 26, 2020, the BOAT Briefing’s fifth podcast episode featured an exclusive interview with Pier Luigi Loro Piana, the owner of 40-meter supermaxi My Song, which was declared a total loss after falling off a transport ship in the Mediterranean during heavy weather between Palma and Genoa in May 2019.
The yacht was aboard cargo ship Brattingsborg, which had departed from the Caribbean and was due to arrive in Genoa, Italy, on May 27. The yacht was apparently being transported from the Caribbean to the Med for the upcoming Loro Piana Regatta set to begin that June.
“Initial investigations revealed that the cradle holding the yacht on board the transport ship failed in the heavy seas with the result that My Song slipped overboard,” explained Stewart Campbell, editor-in-chief for BOAT International and host of the podcast.
“When I saw the picture of the boat floating with no mast basically at the level of the sea, completely full of water, this was really painful, as well as to see the boat coming up out of the water in Palma de Mallorca with such big holes in the hull and the deck and the interiors, terrible,” says Pier Luigi Loro Piana.
The loss of the yacht is now the subject of various court proceedings. Loro Piana maintains that the yacht transport company, Peters & May, is to blame for the loss of the yacht, which took four years to build. He’s now seeking compensation for that loss.
Peters & May denies responsibility. “I reached out for comment on this issue and they said that while they couldn’t provide additional details of investigations into the cradle due to the ongoing litigation,” Campbell said, “they stood by their preliminary findings, which were that the yacht’s cradle, which was owned and operated by the yacht, warranted by the yacht for sea transport, and assembled by the yacht’s crew, collapsed during the voyage for Palma to Genoa and subsequently resulted in the loss of My Song overboard. In short, they aren’t responsible for the failure of the cradle in their view, as it was owned and assembled by the yacht’s crew.”
Loro Piana described hearing the news (in Rome at the time he found out) at 8:30 a.m. that his boat had been lost and relived the emotional moment he saw his yacht after she had been towed to Palma. “When I saw the picture of the boat floating with no mast basically at the level of the sea, completely full of water, this was really painful, as well as to see the boat coming up out of the water in Palma de Mallorca with such big holes in the hull and the deck and the interiors, terrible,” he said.
It was only once towed to shore that My Song was determined a total loss. The cost of operation was higher than buying new, he said. “In fact, it was not a hundred percent loss because I went to see My Song when she was in Palma, and I [recouped] seventeen bottles of good wine,” he laughed. “So, that is the only thing that I get back.”
Loro Piana also discussed plans for a new boat and why this incident will not stop him from enjoying the ocean.
This column is taken from the October 2020 issue of Dockwalk.