German nationals unharmed as chartered catamaran capsized south west of Seychelles main island
File Photo: The Lagoon 440 Catamaran ‘Zebra Moon’ docked on Praslin island. (Dream Yacht Charter Seychelles)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Efforts are underway to salvage a catamaran that capsized off Cap Lazare in the south-western part of the main Seychelles island of Mahé on Wednesday afternoon, with no casualties.
The Lagoon 440 ‘Zebra Moon’ belonging to the Seychelles fleet of Dream Yacht Charter, which has offices on Mahé as well as on the second most populated island of Praslin, was carrying five people at the time.
Pascal Durand, the manager of Dream Yacht Charter in Seychelles, confirmed to SNA that the five people, who are all German nationals were able to come out unharmed.
According to Durand, the catamaran was heading from the south-western part to the north-western part of Mahé and that the incident was reported at around 2 pm (local time) yesterday.
The Seychelles police, Coast Guards and Maritime Safety Administration (SMSA) were all informed about the incident.
The Director General of the SMSA Captain Joachim Valmont told SNA that they were informed that the five people aboard the vessel had immediately used their dinghy to get off the catamaran within five minutes after they had noticed that it was taking on water and quickly starting to sink.
|A picture of the sunken Catamaran. (Greg Berke) Photo License: All Rights Reserved|
In an emailed statement to SNA, Durand said that his clients explained to the police that they were all at the helm station upstairs when the boat's electronics suddenly stopped working, soon followed by the engine.
“The skipper decided to go down and noticed when he entered the boat that it was taking on water… they just grabbed the life jackets and decided to put on the water the dinghy…” read the statement.
The five persons then received the help of some local fishermen nearby to get back to shore.
Durand explained that only the front part of the hull was visible when they reached the location about an hour and a half after the incident was reported.
He adds that steps were taken including the setting of mooring lines to ensure that the boat did not drift further away throughout the night considering the sea was a bit rough at the time.
The sunken catamaran was reportedly secured at a distance of about one nautical mile from the shore until this morning when work started to assess the situation and plan the salvage operations.
Dream Yacht Charter, which started operations in the Seychelles in 2001, has over 400 boats operating in over 30 locations worldwide.
The exact cause of the incident is under investigation by the boat charter company.