Casualties – 75 metre sailing yacht PHOCEA Fire – 18.02.2021

On the morning of Thursday 18th February, 2021 the 75 metre sailing yacht PHOCEA caught fire in Langkawi, Malaysia. While at anchor less than one nautical mile northeast of Pulau Singa Kecil (Lion Island), the 530 GT yacht was attended to by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), who rescued seven crewmembers who are reported to be safe and uninjured.

Once the fire was detected by a local patrol vessel, rescuers from the Malaysian Maritime 6 FLASH boat began fighting the flames despite strong wind conditions. Kedah and Perlis MMEA director, Maritime First Admiral Mohd Zawawi Abdullah, said in a statement that the weather was making the operation “difficult.” “No oil spill was reported and we will continue monitoring the situation,” he added. The team have been tending to the fire since 0818 local time.

She was built in Toulon, France by DCAN (Toulon Naval Dockyard) in 1976 and features classic Tim Heywood’s exterior design. With a beam of 9.57m and a draft of 6.13m, she has a steel hull and aluminium superstructure. She was built for the well reputed, single handed yachtsman Alain Colas who named her CLUB MEDITERRANEE.

 After crossing the Atlantic in 1976, she was extensively rebuilt and converted to a cruise ship in 1983/86 in by her original builders renaming her as LA VIE CLAIRE trading till 1987. In July 1997 she was purchased by the Lebanese Mouna Ayoub and ordered a major interior and exterior refit at the Lürssen shipyard in Germany and renamed her PHOCEA . Ayoub’ former husband Nasser Al-Rashid partly paid for the $17 million refit.

The yacht was again sold in 2010 to her current owners and known as ENIGMA though her AIS is still showing as PHOCEA in 2021.

Unfortunately this was her second time as casualty, the first one back in August 2005 where she went aground off Sardinia while the Prince and Princess Michael of Kent were aboard. Three people were seriously injured and the yacht was damaged below the waterline.

All images of PHOCEA are back to March 2007 berthed at St. Angelo Wharf, Grand Harbour Marina, Malta.

Watermarked Photos are by Capt. Lawrence Dalli otherwise stated. NO PHOTOS can be used or manipulated without our permission. © All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos –

Published – Monday 22nd February 2021.