Megayacht involved in fatal collision

Megayacht Attessa IV (IMO 9179830) collided with 65ft sportfisher Prowler in the Pacific Ocean approximately nine miles offshore of Imperial Beach, near the US-Mexico border, during the evening of October 26th. The fishing boat had 29 people on board at the time of the incident, which occurred near the Maritime Boundary Line. The Prowler suffered extensive damage to her starboard quarter and a US Coast Guard Sector San Diego MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and a Coast Guard Station San Diego 45ft boat were dispatched to respond. A USCG cutter was also diverted to assist.

The response crews arrived about an hour after the incident occurred. The Jayhawk hoisted a critically injured passenger and returned to Sector San Diego where awaiting EMS took the man to hospital. He later died.

The RB-M crew transferred 17 passengers, two reporting injuries, from the Prowler and took them to Sector San Diego. The remaining passengers were transferred to the 101-metre Attessa IV and returned to San Diego, with the captain remaining aboard the Prowler. The USCG cutter remained on-scene with the Prowler, assisting the vessel until she was safely in port, awaiting commercial salvage.

The whole starboard side deck of the Prowler was torn off, but she remained afloat and was taken out of the water by a synchrolift crane in San Diego.

The Attessa IV, which is privately owned and not available for charter, suffered only cosmetic damage and remained seaworthy. She anchored at North San Diego Bay. Attessa IV is a 2,964 gt 101m x 12.84n Cayman Islands-flagged vessel built in 1999. She was originally built as Evergreen for Chang Yu-fa, the chairman of the Evergreen Shipping Line. In 2007 he sold the yacht to Montana-based billionaire Dennis Washington, 84, who controls the Washington Companies and, in Canada, Pacific-Northwest shipping and shipbuilding company Seaspan ULC, which is run by Dennis’s son, Kyle Washington, who is now a Canadian citizen.

During a three-and-a-half-year reconstruction, the yacht was totally rebuilt under the project management of the Washington Yachting Group. The bow, stern and superstructure were all changed, and there was a totally new interior. In 2012 Bill Gates used Attessa IV, valued at $150m, for a family holiday in Belize.