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ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER! Super Yacht ‘Elsa’ Stranded In Saba Has Spilled All The Diesel From Its 11,000 Gallon Tanks Into The Ocean

SUPER SPILLAGE: Stranded Yacht Elsa

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THE BOTTOM — Salvage efforts are to get underway today after the 157-foot (48-meter) motor yacht Elsa ran aground off the Caribbean island of Saba, located some 20 nautical miles from Sint Maarten.

Details surrounding how the vessel ended up on the rocks in Ladder Bay are still unclear, but it is known that all guests and crew made it from the vessel unharmed.

The ocean waters around the bay were not so fortunate, however, as local reports said that diesel from the yacht’s 11,359-gallon (43,000-liter) fuel tanks are now spilling into the surrounding area.

The owner of the yacht is working together with local authorities on devising a safe solution to re-float Elsa whilst causing as little damage to the environment as possible. Equipment have been transferred to the area over the last few days and it is believed that the draining of the remaining fuel on board will be carried out today.

Early indications suggest that a mooring failure might have caused Elsa to drift onto shore after a smaller sailing yacht met a very similar fate just two weeks prior.

Saba’s Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment is investigating the possibility and will meanwhile ensure that all mariners in the area are well-advised on safe mooring practices.

Elsa was built in 2004 by Scheepswerf Peter Sijperda in the Netherlands as Grace. Weber Yacht Design designed her interior and exterior spaces.

Although Saba island, with its capital city of “The Bottom,” is a Dutch island, the people there speak English.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Caribbean region since 1989. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.


  1. ramondou jacky
    June 6, 2017 at 12:18 PM — Reply

    quand ELSA sera sorti de la cote de SABA

    • June 6, 2017 at 12:45 PM — Reply

      Mr. Ramondou Jacky asks in French: “Do we know when the super yacht Elsa will be removed from Saba island?”

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