The 98-foot Azimuth yacht belongs to Sergey Polonsky, who made the Forbes list of billionaires in 2008 with an estimated net worth of US$1.2 billion (B36 billion).
Today Polonsky has a different kind of listing – a red notice on the Interpol site, stating that he is wanted in Russia after being found guilty of embezzling millions of dollars from investors in two residential developments in Moscow.
Polonsky fled his home country, claiming he was framed in an attempt to deprive him of his business and assets. He now lives on a privately owned island in Cambodia, beyond the reach of the Russian authorities – there is no extradition treaty between Russia and Cambodia.
But his company, Mirax, has disappeared, and now his boat is beached.
On his Facebook page on April 16, several days after the stranding at Koh Tang, about 50km from Sihanoukville, Polonsky wrote, “Parked her nice. Rescue mission has been [ongoing] for four days. A storm is expected tomorrow. Probably, will finish on time.”
But as of today, (April 20) the yacht was still sitting on the sand.
Expats in Cambodia following the development of the “rescue mission” note that the task of refloating the yacht is not a simple one. Polonsky’s boat weights approximately 100 tonnes and on sparsely inhabited Koh Tang there is neither the machinery nor the expertise to tackle the job.
But Polonsky is in no hurry. In fact, he seems to rather enjoy being stranded. “Sky of stars above us. It feels like we’re stuck in some other galaxy,” he posted.
“Every member of the crew keeps wondering where they sell tickets for a movie like this. Now waiting for high tide. Simply beautiful.”
He added that he would not mind “staying on the island for some 6 months”.
Meanwhile, in Phuket, the much smaller ketch Inisfail is still stranded on Kata Beach, despite several attempts to refloat it after it was blown ashore on April 1.