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Wednesday, April 16 2014 @ 11:53 PM EDT

Ricardo Martinelli Calls Yacht Sinking "Weird and Freaky"

Boats and Sailing By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - On Saturday morning I got a tip saying one of President Ricardo Martinelli's yachts had sunk near Piñas Bay in the Darien province of Panama during the early morning hours. I shared the information with Castalia Pascual, one of the channel 2 TVN morning news anchors. She confirmed the initial report with the Director of the National Border Service and obtained some additional details on what happened. The following day La Prensa ran the story with a few more details about the yacht itself.

Over the weekend I exchanged a series of direct text messages via Twitter with president Martinelli about what happened. He said "thank God everybody is OK. Thanks for asking. Some people in the opposition may be rejoicing" over the incident. Martinelli said the sinking of the yacht - reported by La Prensa to be a brand new Bertram named the "Aqua Bella" worth $2.5 million dollars - was "weird and freaky." Martinelli said "it was sunk. Hard to believe. We are investigating. Nothing has been ruled out."

This of course piqued my interest. The report by La Prensa on Sunday morning indicated the yacht had supposedly hit a rock. I asked Martinelli what he meant when he said "it was sunk," and told him I also thought the yacht had simply hit a rock or a reef or something, and ripped out the hull, causing it to sink. Martinelli responded by saying "Don't know yet. No, it was sunk. Don't know the reason yet."

I understand they intend to recover and re-float the yacht, as part of the investigation. Right now according to Ricardo Martinelli himself, they don't know exactly what caused the yacht to sink, and he called it "weird and freaky."

Also according to the report in La Prensa, the yacht had supposedly just come out of maintenance, so I guess it's possible someone forgot to connect something or whatever - stranger things have happened. But anyway, at this point nothing is being ruled out. I get pictures in my head of an old Russian submarine flying the PRD flag, but I guess that's over the top a little...

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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