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Seamaster » General Sailing Articles » Ghost Ship Floats 3000 miles...

...and is then sunk by the Irish Navy.

Article from The Telegraph

The owner of the abandoned yacht had hoped to be reunited with his boat after being told it had been spotted off the UK coast.

 A yacht owner, hoping to be reunited with his abandoned boat after learning it had sailed itself across the Atlantic to the UK, had his hopes dashed when the Irish Navy sunk it.

Thomas Mallanut, from Germany, had to desert his 25ft boat after his wife became ill while they were sailing off the coast of Bermuda.

Almost a year later, he was contacted saying the boat, worth tens of thousands of pounds, had been sighted near the UK – nearly 3,000 miles from where the owners had left it.

Hoping to be reunited with his yacht, named Troll, Mr Mallanut travelled to Cornwall where local man David Chidell offered his help. 

 But today he learned that as the boat drifted past the Irish coast, the Irish Navy were ordered to board the vessel and sink it because it was a hazard to shipping.

Mr Chidell, of Mylor Bridge, near Truro, said: “It's a sad end to the story because I had been hoping to help Tom find his yacht as it drifted past the Cornish coast.

“I can’t believe it had travelled 2,700 miles in 10 months, and it could have drifted north towards Greenland last winter. It’s incredible it survived.

“Tom never wanted to abandon his yacht but he had no choice - his wife became very ill. She was unable to drink or eat. She couldn't keep it down.

“He had to put out an appeal for rescue and a tanker then came to their aid.

"He had to decide whether to stay with his seriously ill wife or with the boat. He decided to stay with his wife.

"He thought he would never see Troll again.

“It’s just a shame when Tom was told in August that the Irish Navy had spotted it he wasn’t subsequently informed they had decided to sink it.”

Mr Mallanut and his wife, who is fully recovered, vowed not to let the incident put them off sailing and are planning to save money to buy a new boat and return to a life on the sea. 

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