Anacortes, Washington-based Northern Marine shipyard has made the headlines for all the wrong reasons upon the launch of its latest new build. And this incident offers an important reminder to all personnel involved in the launch of any superyacht, as to the risks associated with putting these vast objects into the water.

The US shipyard, whose biggest builds to date are the 46m After Eight (2007) and Bella Bri (2008), was set to launch its latest project, the 26.2m Bäden, when the vessel began to list and subsequently sank.

According to local media reports, Bäden was being launched at local Fidalgo Marina when she began to list. With the vessel sinking, a number of employees were trapped aboard, and required a dramatic and impromptu rescue operations from bystanders who smashed open a porthole to pull the men to safety as water was being taken on.  

The cause of the sinking is yet to be formally confirmed although hypotheses materialising at the time of writing include the need for a heavier-than-normal ballast, and a stabiliser being lodged on an obstruction as the vessel was hitting the water.

A salvage operation is underway, which will then be followed by an investigation.

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