Coral Island Superyacht Gibraltar

Coral Island Superyacht Gibraltar

coral island

One of the regular visiting Superyachts to Gibraltar waters was in distress Thursday 13th June 2013 just off the coast of Sussex, UK, and called for assistance from the coastguard.

coral island off Eastbourne

The £75 million yacht, Coral Island, believed to be owned by Sheikh Abdul Mohsen Abdulmalik Al-Sheikh, rumoured previous owner of Pelorus, the superyacht currently belonging to billioinaire Roman Abramovich, called for assistance due to a crew member having suffered unexplained facial injuries in stormy waters.

Coxswain Mark Sawyer and his volunteer crew launched shortly on Thursday with the intention of taking the battered and bruised man to the town’s hospital.

But with choppy seas and gale force winds making a seaborne rescue near impossible, the coastguard helicopter was called for.

Bob Jeffery, from the Eastbourne station, said: “It was going to be treacherous trying to safely get the man to hospital in those conditions so he was winched up by the helicopter.

“It was some vessel. The photograph of our lifeboat alongside the yacht really puts it into perspective. It dwarfed our little lifeboat.”

Mr Jeffery added that the yacht anchored half a mile from Eastbourne Pier on Thursday night as they were waiting for the crew member to be treated.

They set off early on Friday to Gibraltar, their original destination.

Coral Island, which is registered in Bermuda, has something of a colourful history.

Picasso

young Picasso

She was built in 1994 and is owned by one of Saudi Arabia’s richest men, billionaire Sheikh Abdul Mohsen Abdulmalik Al-Sheikh.

The luxury hotel owner’s love of yachts is only matched by his passion for breeding Arabian horses.

He is rumoured to have sold his previous vessel to Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich.

In 1999, the Coral Island was at the centre of a huge international criminal investigation.

While docked in Antibes in southern France, the Sheikh’s prized Picasso painting, his 1938 Buste de Femme, went missing.

An investigation, spanning numerous countries was launched and a £500,000 reward was offered. However the painting was never recovered.

The vessel, which costs a cool £6 million a year to run, is home to 25 permanent staff members.

Along with a Jacuzzi, four VIP suites, three speedboats and scuba diving gear, the yacht features one of the most valuable floating galleries in the world.

The art-loving Sheik has packed the yacht with a reported £151 million of paintings including works from French artist Matisse and others from Picasso.

written by John Middleton – gibraltartourism@europe.com