Friday, 5 June 2015

The Ghostly Shipwreck of the Yacht “Mar Sem Fim”

Mar Sem Fim is also called Endless Sea is a Brazilian yacht that was sunk and afterward got frozen in ice in Maxwell Bay of Ardley Cove, Antarctica, about 1,200 kilometers south of tip of South America, in April 7, 2012. The yacht that belonged to the famous Brazilian journalist and entrepreneur João Lara Mesquita, was crewed by four peoples who were filming a documentary off the Antarctic coast when the boat overturned. Strong winds in excess of 100-kilometer per hour had tossed the boat from one side to the other “like a bucking bronco in a rodeo,” according to one crew member.

With their vessel trapped in ice, the crew radioed for assistance and was received by the Chilean navy in the base in Bahia Fildes, in Antarctica. All four investigators were finally rescued but bad weather delayed the process by couple of days. João Lara Mesquita says who was also in the yacht then with strong winds and high waves, the boat Frei came to us. Our evacuation was extremely ambitious waves of more than 1.5 meters and winds over 40 knots made the boat jump from one side to another, just like a bucking bronco. When it got close, each of us threw ourselves into the arms of three Chilean crew members. Fortunately all went safely. Mar Sem Fim, however, couldn’t be rescued. The nearby freezing water that had been tossed over the ship was later frozen and then split the hull when it expanded. This phenomenon is called complete compression, and is what was later determined to have been the final blow to the hull of the Mar Sem Fim, sending her to the bottom of the shallow bay.

The boat lay in about 30 feet of water, preserved and can be seen from above, for almost a year, until rescue in early 2013. Owner João Lara Mesquita managed to return to the site and when the weather fully cooperated sent divers who wrapped strong lines under the hull and attached them to inflated buoys on either side. The buoys were incessantly inflated, gradually raising the vessel that had been underwater for almost a year. Once the vessel was surfaced, and then it was towed back to the shore where the researchers recovered their equipment and the Mar Sem Fim will most likely head for salvage. The ship was though insured for $700,000, nevertheless, the breached hull and damage from being submerged for ten months would seem to indicate the vessel is beyond repair.

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