Ignoble End For Madrid Navigator´s Elcano Expedition

A Spanish ship attempting to recreate the historic first sea voyage around the world more than 500 years ago has been found sunk and looted after being hit by a typhoon.

The 21-metre (69-foot) sailing boat Pros had left the Andalucian port of Seville in 2019 and was attempting to sail the same route taken by 15th-century explorer Ferdinand Magellan’s ship Victoria.

After being delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, it has been discovered sunk and stripped after it was lost during a violent storm that rocked the Western Pacific island of Guam on 25th May.

Pros had been moored at a pier in the US territory when the powerful Mawar typhoon hit the island.

Divers located the wreck at a depth of 30 metres (100 feet) near where it was moored in Apra Bay.

But the vessel’s skipper Jose Sola has revealed that as well as the catastrophic storm damage, the yacht has also apparently been stripped of every item of value.

Looters even took furniture and clothes, the captain said.

Picture shows the sailboat Pros, undated. It disappeared due to the typhoon Mawar. (Newsflash)

Sola said: “The two masts are broken, there are two huge gaps on the starboard side, the hardtop roof is bent and the seals have disappeared from most of the hatches.”

He added: “And everything has been looted from the boat: the electronics, the drawers, a large part of the clothes.”

The Madrid based Association Of Friends Of Great Spanish Navigators – which had organised the expedition – said in a statement obtained by the Madrid Metropolitan  on 2nd June: “After days of anxiety due to the uncertainty surrounding the situation of the Pros sailboat in Apra Bay, the available clues have been confirmed, placing the Pros sunk very close to the pillar of the dock where it had sought shelter from the hurricane-force winds.

“Even without an official and written confirmation of the precise location of the sinking, Jose Sola, with the help of a diver, descended to the wreck to confirm the identity of the boat.

“Indeed, it is located beneath the pillar, at a depth of about 27-30 metres, in the expected location.”

It is unclear if local police are investigating the looters.

The Pros was attempting to recreate the voyage of Magellan’s Victoria ship, which set sail from Spain in 1519 looking for a quicker route to the Spice Islands.

It returned to its home port in Sanlucar, Cadiz, after three years at sea.

Navigator Juan Sebastian Elcanoended the voyage following Magellan’s death in a battle in the Philippines.


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