Man Sinks His Own Yacht, Now Accussed of Insurance Fraud

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A Seattle man who allegedly sank his own yacht because of “financial pressure and frustration with the maintenance” of the vessel has now been charged with insurance fraud.

According to court documents, 50 year-old Brian Lewis on March 22, 2008 sank his own yacht named “the Jubilee” in the Puget Sound Bay, then rowed a borrowed dinghy back to shore. Three days later, Lewis filled an insurance claim with USAA Insurance reporting the Jubilee sank accidentally “due to unknown causes.”

What Mr. Lewis most likely did not expect was when the Washington State Department of Natural Resources decided to salvage the vessel due to environmental concerns at a cost to the state of $2,866. What they discovered was a hole was drilled into the bottom of the yacht and the two main engine sea strainers appeared to have been broken with a hammer.

“The vessel appeared to have been deliberately sunk,” authorities said in their probable cause affidavit.

Confronted by investigators, Mr. Lewis admitted he intentionally sunk his vessel, saying the financial strain “caused him extreme anxiety and frustration.” In an obvious attempt to justify his actions, Mr. Lewis told investigators “the engine trouble he experienced caused him to lose his temper. In his rage, he smashed the sea strainers with a hammer and drilled the hole to sink the vessel.”

Prior to its sinking, the Jubilee had been listed for sale with Mahina Yachts for $28,500.

Now Lewis is out a yacht, will very likely see no insurance money and may even face criminal charges. I’m sure he feels like a real dipnoid.