Ill-fated motor yacht had an illustrious past

It’s game over for the Atlantic Princess, which has been declared a Total Loss by the South African Maritime Safety Authority.

The well-known 45 ran motor yacht aground on Robben Island in early June in foggy conditions, prompting much speculation within the boating community regarding what went wrong. At the time of publication skipper Francois Olivier had yet to clarify the circumstances around the accident, and SAMSA has yet to conclude their investigation.

However what is clear is that the vessel is not going anywhere, at least not in one piece:  “It is a wreck removal and no longer salvageable,” confirmed SAMSA’s Vernon Keller in a statement sent to the Sunday Times. “There is no risk of pollution at this stage.”

Keller said a site inspection revealed the vessel had moved 25m shoreward from her initial grounding position

“She was inspected on Friday, where it was established that she had moved 25m from her initial grounding position. “It is now just above the High Water mark,” he said.

“All pollutants have been removed and wreck removal will be for owners account,” Keller said.

The vessel had an illustrious past; the list of former owners includes Peter Bacon, his wife Anneline Kriel (former Miss World), and politician-turned-businessman Tokyo Sexwale. The boat, previously called Antares, moved through other pairs of hands before being purchased by SA businessman Francois Olivier.

“I can confirm that Anneline and myself together with others participated in a fractional ownership programme which Antares was originally part of,” Bacon told the Sunday Times in response to queries. “I am unable to comment on the grounding of the boat on Robben Island,” Bacon added.

Olivier’s lawyer Anneke Whelan said her client was “obviously deeply shocked and saddened by the turn of events of Tuesday, 8 June 2021. He is an experienced yachtsman with many hours logged navigating at night.”

“He is deeply grateful to the NSRI for their assistance,” Whelan told the Sunday Times. “Marc de Vos, Station Commander of the NSRI in turn commended Francois for raising the alarm and communicating clearly during a stressful situation, thereby keeping his crew safe,” she said.

Sign In


Reset Password

Please enter your username or email address, you will receive a link to create a new password via email.