The megayacht was taken to Motril port over the weekend / P. G-T

Last voyage? Fate of stranded Neeveen megayacht still to be determined

The nine days it spent stuck on the rocks has caused further damage to the vessel and the last owner has denied all responsibility for the boat. The vessel arrived at Motril port on Saturday after a rescue team managed to refloat it

IDEAL

The megayacht stranded off Carchuna beach in Motril (Granada province) for ten days is now in storage at an inland marina, where it will remain until its future is decided, after being refloated last Friday and towed to Motril port. The nine days it spent stranded on the rocks has caused further damage to the vessel and the last owner has denied all responsibility for the boat.

The megayacht was once the venue for lavish parties in Puerto Banús and used by former mayor of Marbella Jesús Gil in his election campaigns. However, the vessel may end up being scrapped.

"That sailboat loaded with dreams crossed the bay", sang the workers as the maritime rescue vessel, the Sar Mastelero, towed the yacht out to sea on what will possibly be its final voyage. It had taken the team more than eight hours to get the boat off the rock on which had been stranded for nine days, before it could be taken to Motril port.

Eighteen personnel on the beach, 10 on the rescue vessel and another four crew members on the another rescue boat, took part in the operation. With pressure balloons inside the megayacht and surrounding the outside of the boat, the workers gave the Neeveen the buoyancy it had lost in its misadventure, in order to tow it to the Motril port.

"Since last week, Cartagena’s Salvamento Maritimo special operations team has been involved in the rescue of the vessel. The first operation carried out was the removal of 6,500 litres of diesel oil. Last Monday and Tuesday other solid pollutants were removed. From then on we proceeded to refloat the vessel and prepare all the equipment needed to give it buoyancy with pressurised air balloons and with the Sar Mastelero to pull it out from where it was stranded," explained Jose Manuel Allegue, head of the coordination and maritime rescue centre in Almeria.

Once in deeper water, the yacht gradually gained buoyancy and its journey to Motril's port took around two hours. Once there, the operators took the boat out of the dry dock and put it into storage, where, with the aid of a crane, they will assess the damage in order to determine its future, which will either be under the hammer at an auction or the scrapyard.