Friday, January 13, 2012
An Eventful Lunch at Gariful
A peak season lunchtime on the waterfront of exclusive Hvar Town was dramatically interrupted on August 5 2011 by a luxury yacht breaking through its mooring ropes, hitting five other vessels and injuring two people.
Exciting Birthday Celebrations
"It was unbelievable," said eyewitness Chris Connor, who was celebrating her 59th birthday with husband Mick at exclusive fish restaurant Gariful, when the incident happened. "The boat just suddenly shot forward and went on the rampage." Connor, who runs up market boutique complex, The Quaich Experience, in the village of Vrbanj, agreed that the incident had added to the birthday excitement.
"What with that, and Roman Abramovich's old plaything rocking up, moored up next to Wallypower, it was quite a lunch."
Five Boats Hit in Hvar Town Marina
The rogue yacht, the 31.25m Cayman Islands registered Kai, with a British captain at the helm, had its engine running and snapped through its protective ropes at 1330 local time, according to Croatian daily 24 Sata.
Kai shot forward and hit five other boats - three Croatian, the Italian Giampi and American Colonial Sun, with two Croatian crew members on the latter injured in the incident. Kai is owned by Genu Marine Adventures Limited and had 11 crew and 13 passengers. The incident is being handled by Hvar Port Authority and local police are investigating the British captain.
Other Luxury Boats in Port: Ecstasea and Wallypower
Hvar Town is arguably Croatia's most exclusive destination after Dubrovnik, and a regular haunt for celebrities, many of whom dine at Gariful, the most famous fish restaurant in town. While the multi-million Kai cuts an impressive figure, it was dwarfed by other boats in the marina at the time, most notably Roman Abramovich's former luxury yacht, the 86m Ecstasea, which was moored next to one of the most talked about boats of the season, Wallypower, part of the fleet of enigmatic Chinese entrepreneur Jimmy Lee.
The incident is the latest in a busy period for the local emergency services. On Thursday, an Abu Dhabi-registered 40 metre yacht beached itself in the bay of Pokojni Dol, after hitting the small island of the same name while on auto-pilot, while a New Zealand woman was airlifted to Split in a helicopter, following a freak accident while having sex with a British national in the bathroom of a yacht moored off the Pakleni Islands; the sink broke and a jagged edge all but severed her left hand. Doctors in Split were able to perform successful surgery.