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Phuket ‘ghost yacht’ washes ashore Sumatra, captain safe

PHUKET: The captain sailing a yacht from Phuket to Langkawi, Malaysia, that washed ashore unmanned in Sabang, Indonesia, has been safely rescued by a passing cargo vessel off Sumatra.

By The Phuket News

Tuesday 16 January 2018, 05:51PM

The skipper was forced to abandon the yacht 'Elysion' while en route from Phuket to Langkawi. Images: TMBA / Facebook

The skipper was forced to abandon the yacht 'Elysion' while en route from Phuket to Langkawi. Images: TMBA / Facebook

Paul Van Isacker reported himself to be alive and well to the Phuket-based Thai Marine Business Association (TMBA) earlier today (Jan 16) after the group yesterday shared on its Facebook page (click here) images of the yacht Elysion washed ashore on Pulau Weh, a small island just offshore from Banda Aceh.

“Anyone missing a yacht?” said the original Facebook post, which noted that a small Thai flag was tied to the yacht’s mast.

Any persons with information about the yacht were urged to contact “iis dodent (Iskander)” via email to

A video of the yacht being toppled by waves onto the beach marked that the yacht washed ashore – alone and unmanned – on Saturday (Jan 13). (See video here.)

New Paths Retreat

“I sailed Elysion, a Belgian-registered yacht, from Phuket (Thailand) to Langkawi (Malaysia) but had to abandon the vessel about 40 nautical miles west of Koh Lipe on Jan 1,” Mr Isacker reported.

The skipper was forced to abandon ship due to several failures, notably a broken boom, engine failure, a broken backstay, and more, he noted

“I was safely rescued by a passing cargo ship,” he added.

The Phuket News has yet to confirm any efforts underway to rescue the yacht, which has been pushed onto the beach at the small island.



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