The Argentine yacht “La Sanmartiniana”, which had been spotted and rescued, abandoned in the high seas, October 2015 by a Falklands Fisheries Protection patrol finally left the Islands on Sunday morning 27 November and is in route to Mar del Plata with a stop in Puerto Deseado, reported Robert King, Falkland Islands government Collector of Customs, Registar of Ships, Shipping Master, Receiver of Wreck and Admiralty Marshal.
”On completion of Customs and Immigration formalities, the vessel left its berth at FIPASS (Stanley's port) at approximately 08.35 hours Sunday and after undertaking some brief handling performance trials, cleared the Narrows and proceeded out of Port William said the release signed by Mr. King.
However before leaving the captain of the Argentine yacht confirmed to local authorities he was fully satisfied with the condition status of his vessel as relevant to the intended voyage and wished to depart.
In case assistance was required for La Sanmartiniana” to clear the Narrows or in case a deficiency was identified necessitating it to return to its berth, a Harbour Patrol launch was made available and followed it part of the way down Port William.
Further on the official release from the Receiver of Wreck and Admiralty Marshal states that after re-confirming with the captain that he was content with the handling of the vessel and that he had committed to proceed on their voyage, he and his crew were wished a safe journey and the Harbour Patrol launch then returned to Stanley.
The FIPCA (Interactive Foundation for the Promotion of Water Culture) vessel passed the Port William exit reporting line at 10.35 hours and headed northwards. The intended destination is Mar del Plata, Argentina, with a stop at Puerto Deseado en-route.
The Sunday departure of the Argentine yacht puts an end to several months of speculation in the Argentine media which originally identified the vessel as acting in the name of La Campora, the youth political group organized by ex president Cristina Fernandez son, Máximo Kirchner.
Promoting water culture, FIPCA, was the excuse but the Campora flagged vessel indicated something different, and allegedly the plan was to follow along the South Atlantic coast, promoting water culture, and at one point make it across to the Falklands in political stunt, according to the Argentine media.
However the budding politicians proved not to be good mariners and following a storm and frustrated towing by a fishing vessel, La Sanmartiniana” was abandoned in the high seas until 7 October 2015, when FPV Protegat rescued the drifting abandoned vessel. The Falklands government issued a release calling on the owners to turn up and claim the vessel for which they had twelve months.
Last July representatives from the FIPCA foundation and the last skipper of the yacht, Javier Vazquez turned up in the Falklands with all the needed documents to claim the yacht, which although rusting and in need of upkeep was seaworthy. Negotiations were established with Robert King, Collector of Customs but most important Receiver of Wreck and Admiralty Marshal, according to Falklands legislation.
The claim was awarded an unexpected goodwill prize from the local elected government: in effect the Falklands' Legislative Assembly decided not to charge rescue costs, as is the norm in such cases, and would only demand berthing costs.
Although no figures were revealed from the local government or the Argentine delegation, it is estimated rescue costs could have been in the range of US$ 25.000, and the berthing is half what is charged at any Buenos Aires marina.
When rescued the Falklands Registar said that Registration name was: FIPCA La Sanmartiniana; with Registration number, Rey014788; 17 meters long and the type, steel two mast ketch rigged yacht.