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Video: U.S. Coast Guard Rescues Superyacht off Grays Harbor

coast guard
Courtesy USCG

Published May 9, 2022 6:10 PM by The Maritime Executive

Over the weekend, the U.S. Coast Guard rescued seven people from a 143-foot Benetti yacht about 25 miles off the northwest coast of Washington.

The crew of the yacht Domani made a distress call at 0600 on Saturday. They reported that the vessel was taking on water because the transom door leading to her "beach club" compartment could not be closed.

In the meantime, the yacht crew also spotted smoke and activated the engine room's fire suppression system, resulting in a blackout and loss of propulsion. They used the yacht's emergency batteries to maintain communications with the Coast Guard.

Sector Columbia River dispatched a Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Astoria, as well as motor lifeboat crews from the stations at Grays Harbor and Quillayute River.

The helicopter crew was the first to arrive, and the conditions on scene were serious: the yacht was rolling heavily in the Pacific Coast swell, and water was washing over its transom hatch and into the open compartment. At least a foot of water was sloshing across the full breadth of the hold as the vessel rolled. 

The boatcrews arrived at about 0730 and stood by to support if needed. Since the yacht was too big for the motor lifeboats to tow, the cutter Active diverted to the area to assist. The Active arrived at about 1430 hours, and her crew successfully took the yacht in tow. All of the crewmembers from the Domani transferred over to the Active, and the towing evolution got under way. 

Over the course of the next 24 hours, Active slowly towed the Domani to Neah Bay, where she transferred the tow to a commercial towing vessel. The crew of the Active returned to their normal patrol.

The commercial tug proceeded to tow the yacht to a shipyard in Port Angeles, where it will be repaired.

Domani in calmer waters (Benetti)