[Kensblog] – A very sad event to report

I’m saddened to report that the Grey Pearl, our friend’s Tina and Braun Jones’ boat, was in lost in a fire this past week. The Pearl is no more.

Below is the most recent blog entry from Grey Pearl’s website, as written by Tina Jones:

                It is with such a heavy heart that I write this last and final blog of the good ship Grey Pearl.

Early in December, while we were spending the winter at our home in Virginia away from our boat, we received one of life’s dreaded phone calls. Our beloved ‘Grey Pearl’ N6208 was on fire in her slip at Yacht Haven Marina in Phuket, Thailand. The fire started in the early evening of Dec. 6th, 2011, and was detected shortly thereafter. The fire quickly became uncontrollable and threatened the marina and other boats. The marina staff and some brave yachtsmen scrambled to remove her from the slip, tow her up a nearby river and run her aground where she continued to burn for almost another day. Needless to say we are devastated by this horrible tragedy.

In order to tend to this matter and our responsibilities, Braun & I immediately flew from our home in Virginia to Thailand.

Of course, the hardest and saddest moment was to see her…it is impossible to describe the heartbreak. To see the pilothouse wheel resting on the charred Lugger main engine…we were overcome. The raging fire had consumed her down to the water line. To put her to rest, we had a “viewing” on a Thursday…and her “burial” with flowers and a final good by on Friday.

Although heartbroken, we do understand how lucky we are…no one was injured! And the damage would have been more catastrophic if not for the brave souls that worked quickly to get the boat out of the slip and thereby save the surrounding yachts and dock.

We’ve had 11 ½ years of absolutely wonderful experiences on the Pearl…and happily, we’ve been able to share that on board passion with so many friends & family. Often we’d sit on our aft “Lido” deck and reminisce about where she’s taken us…Gibraltar, Jounieh, Lebanon, Jementos, Bahamas, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, Elba, Italy, Hong Kong, Barcelona, Aleutian Islands, Panama Canal, Haifa, Israel, Rome, Petropavlovsk, Russia, Bar Harbor, Me., Singapore, Athens…to name just a few.

I personally have never been more challenged, fulfilled and happier doing anything in my life than the time I’ve spent on my ‘Grey Pearl’. And…more importantly, she was a passion Braun & I enjoyed together. She will live on fondly in our hearts & memories…forever ~

We are still “processing” this calamity so it’s way too soon to say what our future plans will be…but there will be an Act II. The fun is not going to stop.

We’re OK…and, we have the love of family & friends we can count on to get through this painful time…

A special thanks to our dear friends, Carol & Steven Argosy on our buddy boat N62 ‘Seabird’. They remain in Phuket and we deeply regret having to temporarily leave the “Bird and Pearl” cruising team.

Sadly…Grey Pearl…Out –

Tina & Braun

Ken Williams
N6805, Sans Souci


9 Responses

  1. Hi ken, Bill Merola Manchester, NH USA
    previously lobstering in Cape cod growing up, unfortunate , yet no one hurt !!! Time heals all wounds, Cheers to the next Sea-mate !!! Will try and upload items to http://blog.supplieslocator (http://blog.supplieslocator.info) , http://blog.travelbidder.info (http://blog.travelbidder.info) , http://cshadvance.info (http://cshadvance.info) , http://blog.cshsdvance.info (http://blog.cshsdvance.info) & others Best of Luck !!!

  2. Answered by Ken, 03/03/2012

    Rad, in the couple of these incidences I’m aware of, the owners were paid within weeks. I don’t know if this is typical or not.

    My belief is that fires on boats are fairly rare, and that the relatively low cost of boat insurance reflects this.

    As to mitigating the problems associated with collecting insurance: I think it’s really just a matter of having a quality insurance company, and reading your policy, to make sure you understand all the exceptions.

    Overall, I can’t say that I worry much about a fire, from an insurance perspective.

    My great fear is that there could be a fire while my family or I are on the boat. Fire safety is a huge issue, and a serious risk. Although the likelihood of a fire is extremely low, it’s something I’m highly sensitive to. I’m very careful about anything having to do with electricity on the boat, and have tried to buy the best safety equipment I can buy, and keep everything well maintained. I also made the decision NOT to have a gas stove in the galley, even though we wanted one, because I didn’t want propane in the boat.

    Just curious, is this every owner’s insurance nightmare? Fire destroying their boat in an International location. Sounds like it will be a testy and contentious claims process. Any thoughts on how to mitigate this? Thanks…

  3. Just getting around to checking for any more updates on Ken’s Blog here. That would indeed be devastating. Determining how it started may be good information to other fellow sea captains as well. The fact that no one was injured is good to know and best of luck to an even better ACT II! Make it happen!

  4. I am so sorry mister ken, as an avid fan of you and your wife, company and games, it greatly depresses me to see you going through hardships.
    You will be in my prayers 🙁

  5. I am very sorry to hear about this tragedy. I can’t even think about losing my boat in a fire.
    I hope that you will recover soon and make plans for the future.

  6. I too am saddened by this. As a fellow mariner, I enjoy following the treks of San Souci and friends (including Gray Pearl). It is fortunate no one was hurt, but that doesn’t stop the knot in the throat when thinking about the loss of a beautiful vessel.

    All the best from CA

  7. very sad to hear that. thankfully no one was hurt. hopefully they return with a new boat and continue on with their travels. jon

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