Abandoned ship-wreck about to be moved

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Scaffolding goes up around Tumberry Tres Photo: 衛永康/Ming Pao News

BUZZ has mentioned the wreck of the HK$60 million luxury yacht Tumberry Tres, beached by the golf course car park after Super-Typhoon Mangkhut, in a longer story on 24 November 2018. Ming Pao are now reporting that the Marine Department (MD) have still not been able to locate the owner after four months.

This week scaffolding went up around the boat MD and Sai Kung District Council, have both confirmed that this is in readiness for MD to clean the boat so it will be in a fit state to be disassembled after Lunar New Year and carried away by land.

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Photo: 林振華

MD has posted notices on the boat asking if there are any objections to its removal. According to Ming Pao, Sai Kung District Council chairman George Ng Sze-fuk, confirmed that they  had completed the tender, and will employ a company to dismantle the boat and carry it away by road. George Ng did not disclose the cost of the project and whether it was being paid for by public funds. He said that moving it by sea would have been more expensive. He expects MD may continue to recover the cost from the owner.

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The Lands Department notice Photo: 黃廸雯

The first owner was Vice-Chairperson of Spanish soccer team Real Madrid, Fernando Fernández Tapias. The boat was originally named Nufer and registered in Barcelona. Fernando later renamed the yacht Tumberry Tres, and sold it for 7 million euros (approximately HK$ 63.5 million) in 2015 to a Chinese businessman. The transaction amount and the name of the buyer was not disclosed. Although the boat is worth a lot of money, local sailors say that it was effectively never used or maintained, and many assume it was part of a money laundering exercise.

According to Article 56 of the Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) Ordinance, “The Director (MD) may give to the owner, his agent or the coxswain of, or other person who claims or appears to the Director to exercise control over, a local vessel which is stranded, abandoned or sunk in the waters of Hong Kong such directions as he thinks fits in respect of the removal, movement, anchoring, mooring, securing, raising or destruction of the vessel. If without reasonable excuse any direction given above is not complied with, the person to whom the direction is given commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine at $25,000 and to imprisonment for 1 year.”

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