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Beatles yacht sinks in Madeira

vagrantThe ‘Vagrant’ was docked at the Madeiran port of Caniçal and was under orders to move on after a 30 year stay as the area it occupied is being made into a green space with some of the detritus and rubble from the 2010 storms.

The boat was being used as a restaurant, as well as acting as a place of pilgrimage for Beatles fans, but was very run down. It finally sunk where it was moored due to the high seas and winds on Tuesday night.

The yacht was but one of the 25 craft that have sunk at anchor in the last two days due the strong southeastly.

The forced removal of the Vagrant, where it was awaiting the outcome of a long judicial struggle, has been resisted by the current owner, Joao Bartolomeu Faria, as he battled the regional government and maritime authorities for the right for the Vagrant to remain at its mooring and continue in business.

The Madeiran government is keen to press ahead with new landscaping and construction following the storm of February 2010 and witheld operating licenses from the business.

The businessman refused to comply with an order to vacate the area where he and the yacht have been since 1984, operating as a restaurant and employing local staff.

The Vagrant was acquired by Faria in the island of Gran Canaria where it had been stranded after an accident in 1977. Refloated, the yacht was taken to Madeira in 1979 and three years later was converted. 

The Vagrant project was inaugurated in 1984 by Alberto João Jardim who gave the businessman a Gold award for the promotion of tourism.

The luxury yacht was constructed in the Bath Iron Works shipyard in Maine, USA in 1941 for US multimillionaire Horace P. Vanderbilt and was bought by the Beatles in 1966. At the time, the Vagrant was considered one of the ten most luxurious yachts in the world. Besides the Beatles there were other famous owners including the wistful '60s singer Donovan and the Greek shipping tycoon Goulandris.

As a piece of history now lies submerged, the Madeira archipelago continues with a yellow weather warning due to rough seas, according to the Portuguese Institute of Ocean and Atmosphere.


0 #2 Sir-i Ous 2013-12-15 10:31
We're all going in a yellow submarine...yellow submarine...yellow submarine...oops, wrong boat!

(There's always one, isn't there...)
+1 #1 tom 2013-12-13 10:23
What a pity. A goodbye in style . Could it be possible to create an underwater museum?