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"Between A Yacht


A Hard Place"

M/V Madame Butterfly & 72ft. Sunseeker Predator Yacht

On The Scene At Port Hueneme

Feature Date: May 9 2007

Event Date: January 16 2007

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On The Scene --At Port Hueneme!

 A 2007 Countryman & McDaniel

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"Between A Yacht


A Hard Place"

M/V Madame Butterfly

On The Scene

At Port Hueneme, California

A Cargo Nightmare Prize Contender

The Date: January 16 2007

The Time: 14:00 Hours

The Place: Port Hueneme, California


Sunseeker Predator Super Yacht In Better Days

Mother Ship: M/V Madame Butterfly

Vessel Name - M/V Madame Butterfly

Charter: Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics

Type of Vessel - Automobile Carrier

Built: 1986

Flag - Singapore

Call Sign-9VHF

Owner: Parsifal Shipping Ltd

IMO #: 7917551

Lenght: 198 Mt.

Beam: 32.3 mt.

Gross Tons: 50,681 tons

Main Engine: 13,500kw

Vessel: 2006 Model 72' Sunseeker Predator

Year Built: 2006

Length: 70ft. 3 inches

Beam: 17ft. 9 inches

Draft: 5ft. 5 inches

Displacement : 71,500 pounds

Power: 2x 1,550 hp MAN diesels

Max speed: 31 knots

Cruising speed: 27 knots

Fuel: 5.000 liters

Fuel consumption: 300 l / h

Water: 1,500 liters

Cost FOB Factory Door: US$3,624,500

The Prolog To Disaster -- Operations At Port Hueneme

PROLOG >> The operations at Port Hueneme are reaching center stage as this little known Los Angles harbor has become the central point for delivery of Automobiles & produce to Southern California -- and beyond inland. Port Hueneme is about 50 miles North of Los Angeles at the U.S. Navy Base of the same name.

Where vessels such as car carrier M/V Madame Butterfly of Wallenius Lines are concerned, there is work on the "back haul" for moving yachts. Ft. Lauderdale, Florida is the major U.S. port for this traffic as our rich cousins redeploy their yachts each year to the Mediterranean and other fantasy desinations for use there "in season."

Still, Port Hueneme has gained note for its export handling of yachts aboard bulk or automobile carriers in the export process.

Our feature below recounts a particular morning on January 16 2007 when efforts were made to move a new, multimillion dollar yacht to a new home in the far Pacific. It was not a good day. The result was a 70 foot thrill ride!

Below, we have a January 2009 update from William Gillette, the yacht skipper!

Michael S. McDaniel - Your Editor

M/V Madame Butterfly Takes On Cargo Jan. 16 2007 At Port Hueneme, California

Port Hueneme, 50 Miles North of Los Angeles & Specializes In Produce & Aotomobiles

At Port Hueneme, Along Side M/V Madame Butterfly 

Something Is Very Wrong At Port Hueneme, Unless It Is Trash Collection Day

Port Hueneme Has Lost A Large Wheeled Crane  

The Oversize Crane Apppears To Have Been On Overload.


This Is A 300 Ton Mobile Crane Operated By

OST Crane Company, A Private Contrator In The Area Since 1947.

 Operating From Terminals Near Port Hueneme, We Have Often Encountered OST Crane Company Before.

Prior Accidents?

Sure, Because The Crane Business In An Inherintlely Hazerdous Activity For A Reason.

No Matter How Expert You Are -- Accidents Will Take Place. Another Reason To Secure Quality Marine Cargo Insurance.

Because......... "Ship Happens! ©"

Still, There May Be Negligence Here Which May Call On OST Crane Co. To Be Responsible. We Don't Know.

In This Incident --

-- It Apears Something Has Fallen off The Side of M/V Madame Butterfly 

Why It's A 2006 Model 72' Sunseeker Predator On Her Way To A Summer Cruise!

What A Difference A 70 Feet Thrill Ride Can Make -- The Distance Between The Vessel Rail & The Dock.

This Yacht Has Paid The Price, Which is US$3,624,500 FOB Factory -- Delivery Not Included.


The 2006 Model 72' Sunseeker Predator Is A US$3,624,500 Toy.

These Are Truly Luxurious Digs, Truly Fit For A King.

This 2006 Model 72' Sunseeker Predator Would Rent For US$40,000 Per Month In High Season....

....... Except For That 70 Feet Thrill Ride.

This 2006 Model 72' Sunseeker Predator Will Not Rent Any Time Soon -- Or Ever. 


This 2006 Model 72' Sunseeker Predator Is Now Somewhat Wider Than The Engineers Intended.

According To Normal Procedure, The Operators of M/V Madame Butterfly Had No Responsibility For This Event .....

..... It Normally Is The Freght Forwarder Which Arranges The Crane Onto A Bulk Vessel -- But We Will See.

The Vessel Normally Becomes Responsible After The Cargo Is Aboard.

There Is A Marine Cargo Insurance Adjuster Out There Today -- With A US$4M Headache.

From Our Reader May 10 2007 :
Mr. Michael S. McDaniel:
If the Sunseeker weighs 71,500 tons as stated in the feature, "Between a Yacht and a Hard Place", I'm pretty sure I know the reason the mobile crane tipped over. Perhaps you mean "pounds".
Lanny Smith, OMICRON Safety and Risk Technologies, Inc, Albuquerque, NM

Ed. Note: Yes Lanny, 71,500 tons would surely explain failure of the 350 ton crane! We corrected our story to read "pounds." Never complete a story late at night!


From Our Reader June 6 2007 :

You guys seem to have played as little attention as the guys posting the Correction on May 10 2007.

2006 Model 72' Sunseeker Predator. Displacement : 71,500 pounds .... (not as written in your feature 71,500 tons with a 350 ton crane) that equals 32500kg = 32.5 tons

So my question is, I assume it was a 35 ton crane and a 32.5 ton load with may be a bit more because of fuel -- and he swung out too far?

Somewhere the math is wrong, I know what a Demag 300ton crane looks like, this old oversize thing in the picture is no way it does 350t

'M' -- Anonymous Contributor

Update From The Skipper Jan. 16 2009

"I happen to be in several of the photos in the aftermath. Actually I was waiting to skipper the yacht back to Newport Beach, CA.

Off loading was delayed the night before because of winds. The next morning it seemed all was going smooth and then it just came down!

I turned to see the crane operators eyes the size of tuna cans! Hats off to the welders that fabricated his cage.

It was so visually overwhelming as close as I was that I never remember hearing a sound, but talk around there right after said that atop the ship they heard three or four loud popping noises from down below. Who knows? Just glad no one got killed."

Capt. William Gillette

Editor Note: The Cargo Letter got it wrong! Based on the contribution from Capt. Gillette, we now know that the yacht was being offloaded, not taken aboard. Otherwise, this does not alter story content. Thanks Bill!


Shippers Must Have Quality Marine Cargo Insurance ........ Because......... "Ship Happens! ©"

If We Have Ever Provided A Cautionary Tale In Support of Cargo Insurance -- This Is It!

To Repeat -- No Matter How Careful You Are -- Or Who You Hire ....... "Ship Happens! ©"


"Ship Happens! ©"

Visit The Cargo Law Ship's Store For Great Industry Gift Ideas!

The Dedication of This Feature Is Simple: To The Crew of M/V Madame Butterfly and her families.

SPECIAL NOTE: The historic dangers of carriage by sea continue to be quite real. Shippers must be encouraged to purchase high quality marine cargo insurance from their freight forwarder or customs brokerIt's dangerous out there.


The Incident
OST Trucks & Cranes
OST Cranes

Wallenius Lines

M/V Madame Butterfly

Yacht Pricing

Looking To Buy A Sunseeker?

Port Hueneme

Port Hueneme

Port Hueneme

U.S. Navy At Port Hueneme

Crane Accidents

Crane Accidents

SPECIAL NOTE: The historic dangers of carriage by sea continue to be quite real. Shippers must be encouraged to purchase high quality marine cargo insurance from their freight forwarder or customs broker. 

It's very dangerous out there.

Thanks To Our Contributors For The "Between A Yacht & A Hard Place" Feature

Our Contributors for this feature are:
Anonymous photo contributor. An insider who wishes to be anonymous*

Andrew D. Kehagiaras,Esq. - our Cargo Law Correspondent

Christoph Wahner, Esq. - our Cargo Law Correspondent

Capt. William Gillette

NOTE: Please Provide Us With Your Additional Information For This Loss.

EDITOR'S NOTE FOR SURVEYORS, ATTORNEYS & MARINE ADJUSTERS: The Internet edition effort of The Cargo Letter now celebrates it's 8th Year of Service -- making us quite senior in this segment of the industry. We once estimated container underway losses at about 1,500 per year. Lloyd's put that figure at about 10,000 earlier this year. Quite obviously, the reporting mechanism for these massive losses is not supported by the lines. News of these events is not posted to the maritime community. Our new project is to call upon you -- those handling the claims -- to let us know of each container loss at sea-- in confidentiality. Many of you survey on behalf of cargo interests with no need for confidentiality. Others work for the lines & need to be protected. As a respected Int'l publication, The Cargo Letter enjoys full press privileges & cannot be forced to disclose our sources of information. No successful attempt has ever been made. If a personal notation for your report is desired -- each contributor will be given a "hot link" to your company Website in each & every report. Please take moment & report your "overside" containers to us. If you do not wish attribution, your entry will be "anonymous." This will will benefit our industry -- for obvious reasons! McD

* NOTE: The Cargo Letter wants you to know that by keeping the identity of our contributors 100% Confidential, you are able to view our continuing series of "Cargo Disasters." Our friends send us materials which benefit the industry. The materials are provided to our news publication with complete and enforceable confidentiality for the sender. In turn, we provide these materials to you.  

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