US billionaire’s yacht sinks gas tanker in Bahamas

‘Due to the depth of the ocean at the location of the sinking, it has been determined that the tanker cannot be safely salvaged,’ shipping company says

Gustaf Kilander
Friday 31 December 2021 15:07

Related video: 58-foot yacht pulled out of frozen Lake Minnetonka

A superyacht worth $51m owned by multimillionaire JR Ridinger crashed into a gas tanker and caused it to sink.

The yacht, Utopia IV, rear-ended the tanker, the Tropic Breeze, in the Bahamas on Christmas Eve, with the collision taking place off the coast of New Providence Island at around 10pm.

“The catastrophic force of the collision pierced the stern of the tanker causing the tanker to sink to the ocean floor at an estimated depth of 2,000 feet,” Maritime Management, which owns the Tropic Breeze, told the Caribbean National Weekly.

They added that all “non-persistent materials”, such as liquefied petroleum gas, marine gas, and automotive gas, “are lighter than water and will evaporate if exposed to surface air”.

Another superyacht, the Amara, passed the sinking ship and rescued the crew members. It’s unclear if Mr Ridinger was on the yacht during the collision. He’s the CEO of Market America and

The ship has engines from Rolls Royce to power it along and can host 12 sleeping guests, with the interior featuring brands such as Hermes and Armani. The owner’s quarters also feature a jacuzzi and a pool with a glass bottom.

A $51m superyacht owned by multimillionaire JR Ridinger rear-ended and sunk a gas tanker in the Bahamas on Christmas Eve

Mr Ridinger and his wife Loren put their West Chelsea duplex up for sale in July 2020. The apartment was close to the parking space for their ship at Chelsea Piers.

The Utopia IV was damaged in the collision with the tanker

“We’ve always been avid yachters so having our yacht across the street was super convenient,” she told The New York Post.

“The Port Department has begun a formal investigation into the incident, and the Department of Environmental Health is also conducting a review of the environmental impact. These activities are currently underway,” the Bahamas Ministry of Transport and Housing said in a statement according to the Caribbean National Weekly.

Utopia IV was built in 2018 at the Italian shipyard Rossinavi. The tanker measured 160 feet (49 metres) compared to the yacht’s 207 feet (63 metres).

Maritime Management added in their statement that the tanker, which is registered in Belize, was inspected this month “and was found by the authorities to be fully compliant with all national and international safety and vessel integrity standards”.

“Due to the depth of the ocean at the location of the sinking, it has been determined that the tanker cannot be safely salvaged,” they said.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in