At 2300 on Friday engineers were preparing a structure on Mirabella's deck in preparation for a local high tide which might help float her
Engineers were working late into Friday night erecting what looked like a gantry on the deck of Mirabella V in the vicinity of the her keel box.
According to reporter Tim Thomas a metal structure is being welded possibly in an attempt to support the 150-ton lift keel, the bulb of which is still sitting firmly on the seabed and preventing the yacht from being moved. The world’s largest single masted yacht ran aground in the south of France on Thursday in fresh onshore winds after reportedly dragging her anchor. Conditions have remained calm since then and a large rescue tug continues to stand by with a line attached to the yacht which is lying bows on to the shore.
A diver who took a look at Mirabella‘s keel told reporter Thomas that part of the starboard rudder is damaged but otherwise there are no visibile signs of external damage to the keel. The bulb appears to be positioned in a recess in rock. There is a minimal tidal rise and fall in this area of the Mediterranean but as luck would have it there is an equinoctial tide due shortly which could provide an extra 20 cm of water. It could be just enough to free the stranded yacht.
The salvage attempt, now under the control of the insurers, is also considering ballasting the yacht down to assist the effort of raising the keel, or using flotation collars to raise her up. The dry dock at La Ciotat is on standby to receive Mirabella but it is also believed that space aboard a Dock Express ship has been secured in case it is decided to take the super sloop back to her builders, Vosper Thornycroft in Southampton, UK.