THREE representatives of the owners of the abandoned Argentine yacht FIPCA La Sanmartiniana, picked up last October by the Falklands' Patrol Vessel, visted the Falklands last month, according to a press statement from the Falkland Islands Government.
The group visited from July 10-16 in order to assess the vessel’s condition and make the necessary plans to effect vital repairs to enable the vessel to return to Argentina at a later date which is yet to be determined.
On October 7 2015 the FPV ‘Protegat’ picked up an unidentified radar target in the south of the FOCZ. Closer investigation resulted in the discovery of what appeared to be an abandoned Argentine registered yacht ‘FIPCA - La Sanmartiniana’, Official Number REY 014788.
The Argentine media had previously reported that the yacht was abandoned and had possibly sunk on September 17, 2015 in the vicinity of Isla de Los Estados (Argentina). The yacht had reportedly suffered damage in bad weather conditions and also mechanical problems. The nine crew members had been safely transferred to a fishing vessel.
In order to avoid any hazard to navigation and maritime activities, it was decided that the FPV ‘Protegat’ should take the vessel under tow and transfer it to Stanley. The vessel arrived on October 9, 2015, was secured and, in accordance with the Merchant Shipping Act 1894, was taken into the possession of the Receiver of Wrecks.
In accordance with the Merchant Shipping Act 1894, the Receiver of Wreck issued a Notice on October 11, 2015 stating that the vessel was in his custody and that any person or entity who wished to claim ownership thereof must do so in writing within one year.
A claim of ownership letter was received on December 22, 2015 from the secretary of the Fundación Interactiva para Promover la Cultura del Agua (FIPCA), Argentina. On the request of the Receiver of Wreck FIPCA provided official documents, properly authenticated, and demonstrating that the title of the vessel was held by FIPCA, which has been accepted as genuine by the Receiver of Wreck.
In a meeting of Executive Council of June 29 2016, a schedule of actual and estimated future costs and associated expenses in respect of the mooring and safeguarding of the vessel was approved. FIPCA were notified of costs which would need to be paid before the vessel can be released to the owners.