Thirteen people were desperately battling choppy waters off the coast of Fort Lauderdale yesterday night after they made a distress call announcing their superyacht was sinking.
The 120ft Serena III, estimated to cost between $10million and $15million, was 13 miles off the coast when water began flooding into the vessel.
Less than two hours later, the luxury yacht rolled over and was completely submerged in waters measuring 1,200 feet deep, just 25 minutes after the last passenger was rescued.
Serena III, pictured above as it was sinking just 13 miles off the coast of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, last night. Thirteen people were on board heading for the Bahamas
Several rescue boats were on the scene after a distress call was made at 6pm. Choppy waters and high winds made the situation difficult, according to a member of the Coast Guard
Richard Paul Matheson, pictured right wearing a Serena III tshirt, is the registered owner of the superyacht. Along with five family members, the group from Rio de Janeiro were headed to the Bahamas when the vessel began flooding. Six crew and a captain were also on board
Infrared video taken by the Coast Guard shows the luxury yacht dramatically on its side.
Sea Tow Captain Tim Morgan, who was called on the scene, told the Sun Sentinel: ‘It was a moonless night so it was very dark. The winds were blowing at about 15 knots out of the east and southeast, so it was a pretty rough ride.’
All 13 were taken to shore without injuries, although Morgan said the boat was impossible to save.
Despite having eight pumps ready, he told CBS Miami: ‘The amount of water it was taking in, how quickly the boat sank, really, didn’t think there was much anybody would have been able to do.’
Coast Guard Jon-Paul Rios called it a ‘really hectic situation’ amidst unfavorable weather.
Registered owner Richard Paul Matheson is the head of the Brazilian company ECISA, which develops and maintains shopping malls.
He was headed for a month-long trip to the Bahamas with five family members, six crew, and one captain.
Sea Tow Captain Tim Morgan told CBS Miami that the boat was impossible to save despite having eight pumps on hand
Infrared video shows the superyacht laying dramatically on its side before it was completely submerged, just 25 minutes after the last person was rescued. Pictured, debris and lounge cushions floating in the water
The Coast Guard is investigating whether something could have struck the bottom of the yacht as it left the port, while Morgan suggested it may have been a mechanical problem.
Rescue crew managed to save a 18-foot tender, a smaller boat used to service and provide support to a yacht. A jet ski, inflatable life raft, and some luggage was also recovered.
Nearby fishing boats took in passengers before they were taken to
According to CBS, the boat had spent the last two years in Europe, then sailed across the Atlantic to arrive in Fort Lauderdale in January
Serena III is a Motor Yacht Expedition that was purchased by Matheson in 2012. Yacht Charter Fleet states the vessel can travel up to 12 knots and carry 56,650 liters of diesel on-board.
Serena III, measuring 120ft, is a Motor Yacht Expedition. The luxury superyacht is estimated to cost between $10-15million
CBS Miami reported that the Brazilian family had sailed across the Atlantic after the yacht had spent the last two years in Europe. All 13 people on board were safely rescued without any injuries