Mystery surrounds the sunken and dismantled luxury yacht with no confirmed owner

The luxury pleasure craft began taking on water on a weekday night in May, with only the caretaker on board.

Unregistered and unable to dock at the nearby marina, it had been anchored off Yeppoon in Queensland.

But the superyacht had pulled anchor in bad weather and was heading for the rocky coast south of Lammermoor Beach.

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Footage of the sunken yacht off Yeppoon.(Features: Matt Harding)

As it drifted and sank in the ocean, the maritime crews rescued the keeper and towed the million-dollar yacht into safer waters.

The mysterious superyacht that created a logistical nightmare for the authorities was shrouded in a checkered past.

As it ran aground, the perplexed locals of Yeppoon watched rescuers tear apart the abandoned ship as debris poured onto the pristine coastline.

Four images showing a luxury yacht being dismantled.Four images showing a luxury yacht being dismantled.
The superyacht was dismantled over the course of a week.(Provided)
Richie Cunningham was Mr McIntyre’s skipper ten years ago.(Facebook)

Nobody came forward to claim ownership of the boat.

But the accusations came quickly.

“This couldn’t happen to a kinder person,” boat captain Richie Cunningham told his Facebook followers in a video from Lammermoor Beach, with the superyacht partially submerged in the shot behind him.

“This is karma at work.”

The former owner banned from the business

The blow was on the identity of Gold Coast Jamie McIntyre, a banished businessman formerly known for throwing lavish parties in Surfers Paradise.

In 2016, a federal court judge banned Mr. McIntyre from running companies for 10 years after it was discovered that he had operated five illegal managed investment schemes, which cost 152 investors $ 7 million.

Mr. McIntyre has been linked to the sunken superyacht but firmly denies being its current owner.

A man in an Akubra-style hat sits next to a couple on a boat.A man in an Akubra-style hat sits next to a couple on a boat.
Mr. McIntyre with Mrs. Roberts (together, right).(Facebook)

“It was owned by a boat union,” McIntyre told ABC Capricornia in a message, “mostly overseas owners who don’t live in Australia.”

Mr. McIntyre said he intended to purchase the boat as a “wedding gift”.

“I owned it and was buying it back because the shareholders wanted it to be sold once its commercial investigation for the rental was completed.”

The influencer, the ‘Colombian playboy’ and the international unions

Mr. McIntyre married Brisbane influencer and “entrepreneur” Nadine Roberts in May.

A woman smiles as she sits on a boat.A woman smiles as she sits on a boat.
Ms. Roberts did not respond to requests for comment for this story.(Facebook)

Ms. Roberts’ Instagram feed lists a press pass describing her as a “reporter” for an anti-vax website. Both have appeared as speakers and performers at anti-vaccination demonstrations.

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Jamie McIntyre and Nadine Roberts participate in a “Freedom Rally” on the Gold Coast in May.(Provided)

Two days before the superyacht sank, a company called Boat Syndicate was registered in Ms. Roberts’s name.

The company’s co-director is listed as Alejandro Mendieta Blanco, a luxury goods buyer and self-described “Colombian playboy,” who was jailed in 2020 for receiving stolen gold jewelry and a Louis Vuitton handbag.

A man smiles while holding a bottle of champagne.A man smiles while holding a bottle of champagne.
Alejandro Mendieta Blanco defines himself as a “Colombian playboy”(Facebook)

Neither Ms Roberts nor Mr. Mendieta Blanco responded to requests for comment.

But Mr. McIntyre denies that Boat Syndicate is the owner of the yacht.

“Boat Syndicate was a company created to buy it, but when it sank [the] the sale obviously can’t go through, ”McIntyre said in a message to ABC.

Another union listed on the Australian Securities and Investments Commission lists Ms. Roberts and Mr. Mendieta Blanco as shareholders, with Ms. Roberts listed as secretary and director.

A man and eight women aboard a boat.A man and eight women aboard a boat.
Alejandro Mendieta Blanco was jailed for receiving stolen gold jewelry and a Louis Vuitton bag.(Provided)

Known as the Boat Swap Syndicate, that company was canceled in February.

Another of the former shareholders of Boat Swap Syndicate, a Turkey-based financial planner, confirmed the syndicate used to own the sunken yacht.

Mr. McIntyre did not answer the question about that union and refused to clarify who the current owner is.

“I’ve talked to some shareholders,” McIntyre said.

“They said they have no interest in talking to ‘bogus working journalists.’ [sic] for mainstream media like ABC ‘.

“It must be a very slow news year in Rockhampton,” McIntyre said.

The party boat

A man with five women aboard a boat.A man with five women aboard a boat.
Mr. McIntyre had many bikini-clad party-goers aboard his luxury cruises, says his former skipper.(Provided)

Boat captain Richie Cunningham said he was skippered for Mr McIntyre a decade ago when he hosted luxury cruises along the Gold Coast with a boat known as Livin ‘I.

“There were a lot of young people attending the bikini parties, and Jamie and his friends, who had a great time.

“And it’s all wonderful. But where I drew the line was overloading the ship.”

Mr. Cunningham said he resigned due to alleged safety concerns.

“It is simply not possible to have 30 or 40 people trying to climb a 58-foot sport cruiser.”

Mr. McIntyre states that Mr. Cunningham was fired and his Facebook comment was motivated by this.

“He can barely write, let alone count, more bullshit from a fired skipper,” McIntryre said.

Mr. Cunningham said he understood that the sunken boat was called Livin ‘II and that it wasn’t the first time he was in trouble.

“It is very well known, particularly on the Gold Coast, as a ship that previously got stuck under the Sundale Bridge, and then was towed unceremoniously.”

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The luxury yacht crashes into the deck.

Mr. McIntyre responded, saying the yacht was “used illegally by a boat manager and substitute skipper for illegal chartering without the owner’s permission and crashed into a bridge.”

“It also ran aground first on the Gold Coast near what’s known as Bum’s Bay, just north of Sea World,” Cunningham said.

Mr. McIntyre has a history of complex business structures and management positions that make it difficult to trace who owned the boat.

But ABC figured out that Livin ‘II had previously operated as a pleasure cruiser for Gold Coast Luxury Escapes, of which Ms. Roberts is listed as the company’s director.

The ex-husband of Mr. McIntyre’s accountant was also listed as manager.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) reported that a previous company related to Mr. McIntyre was fined $ 20,000 in Southport Magistrates Court in 2020 for chartering the boat without a certificate of operation or certificate of expertise.

At the time, AMSA said authorities were alerted to the operation “after a paying passenger died of a medical condition while on a cruise on December 31, 2018”.

The ABC does not imply that Mr. McIntyre was involved in death.

A marina owner in southeastern Queensland, who wished to remain anonymous, said he kicked the boat out of his marina after witnessing unauthorized charters.

He said he nearly got into a “punch” with a DJ after a “bus loaded with girls went wild for a party” on the boat and that he told Mr. McIntyre he had to leave his marina immediately.

The “dark net of the expedition”

Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) would not answer specific ABC questions about registration, insurance or ownership of the sunken yacht.

In a statement, MSQ CEO Kell Dillon said he was still investigating, along with AMSA.

“MSQ has options to seize ships and remove them, as well as to recover costs where possible through the courts.”

McIntyre said there had been “a trade trust agreement concluded with the Queensland government” to recover the costs, but MSQ has not confirmed this.

Queensland police said they were not involved in the investigation at this stage, as that was MSQ’s jurisdiction.

AMSA said it was “assisting maritime security in Queensland with ongoing investigations”.

If the boat is owned by an international union, it is very difficult for the public to ascertain this information.

Ian Bray, the national coordinator of the International Transport Workers Federation, said ownership of international boats in Australian waters is incredibly obscure.

Bray said the boats were often registered as shell companies in tax havens, making it difficult for authorities to know who actually owned and was responsible for them.

“It’s completely unregulated,” Bray said.

“It’s a global issue that governments need to start paying attention to.

“When you consider that 90 percent of world trade activity depends on shipping, I think it is in everyone’s interest that they pay further attention to it.”

Inserted 4 hours ago4 hours agoFri 17 June 2022 at 9:16 pm, updated 2 hours ago2 hours agoFri 17 June 2022 at 11.31 pm