The 60-metre Yogi, which went down off the Greek island of Skiros after taking on water on Friday morning, took over four hours to sink. According to a spokesman for the Hellenic Air Force, the incident began around 0330 with a call from the yacht to the rescue services. Conditions at the time were deteriorating, with the winds at Force 7 gusting 8.
“We sent a Super Puma which arrived on scene around 0530, but it couldn’t help because of the bad conditions,” says Lieutenant Colonel Konstatinos Graspas of the Hellenic Air Force (HAF). “Following that, another Super Puma took off from Limnos island at around 06:49. This helicopter finally rescued all the crew.”
The dramatic rescue of the crew can be seen in the HAF’s video (below). The situation had deteriorated so badly that the crew had gathered by the wheelhouse on the port side, with the yacht listing to starboard.
“The helicopter finally landed safely at Skiros island around 0910. Fortunately, no one was injured in the incident,” says Graspas. A Greek naval frigate, two local lifeboats and three commercial ships in the area assisted with the incident.
The yacht had left the Istanbul area on Wednesday where a spokesman for the yard said she “had been undergoing some guarantee repaint work”. She was on passage – believed to be heading back to the Western Mediterranean – when she suffered mechanical problems and began taking on water, though the cause of the sinking is yet to be determined.
Builder Proteksan Turquoise has praised all involved with the rescue effort, “especially the Hellenic Coast Guard for their utmost skill and bravery”. The crew, who are all unharmed, are leaving Skiros today for Athens, while an official investigation gets underway.