What Sank the Superyacht Yogi?

The official report, and the shipyard’s response, raise more questions than they answer.

Yogi, Yacht

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Yogi’s glass-end infinity pool and Jacuzzi were just a few of the features that made her one of the world’s top superyachts in 2011.Courtesy Proteksan-Turquoise

In February 2012, the yachting industry was shocked to learn that the acclaimed 197-foot Proteksan-Turquoise Yogi had sunk in the Aegean Sea. She was barely a year old and still collecting awards for her design and craftsmanship, and then suddenly, she was gone.

Now, about a year later, the French Bureau d'Enquêtes sur les Évènements de Mer—also known as BEAmer—has released its 40-page report about the sinking. The report concludes that three aft compartments aboard Yogi flooded, causing the vessel to become unstable and sink. However, the report fails to pinpoint a cause of the flooding.

The report does hint at a possible problem with Yogi's stern door, noting that the door seal had been replaced to make it "a more appropriate color." Other work in that section of the yacht had included removing and re-installing the stern door to refit chests that held the swim ladders.

The report also states that originally requested warranty work had included addressing crew complaints about overall instability when Yogi was at sea, and that Yogi had a different superstructure than her sisterships, one that raised her center of gravity. The report's conclusions urge naval architects and designers to "ban architectural options that pose risks for vessel safety," but stop short of calling Yogi an unstable design.

Following the release of the BEAmer report, Mehmet Karabeyoglu, managing director at Proteksan-Turquoise, issued a statement that affirms the report's conclusion that the shipyard adhered to all rules and regulations during the construction process. However, he criticized the report as "a limp effort" that contained factual inaccuracies. In particular, he noted that Yogi's owner did originally request a new stability-related test, but then withdrew that request, leaving the yard to assume that everything was fine when the yacht was at sea.

“We can only conclude that stability was not an issue, otherwise the captain would not have sailed for months if he had doubts about stability and certainly would not have sailed into poor weather,” Karabeyoglu stated.

The upshot is that finger-pointing and backroom whispers about what sank Yogi is likely to continue for years to come. The yacht remains about 1,600 feet underwater off the coast of Skyros, Greece.