On August 24, 2006 a one-of-a-kind mysterious “classic style” schooner was discovered near the shores of the island of Sardinia. The odd-looking ship had no crew on board and it seemed history was repeating itself after the discovery of the abandoned mythical ghost ship ‘Mary Celeste’ back in 1872.
But this time there was no myth. The Italian coast guard boarded the vessel and was able to find the most unusual items: leftovers from an Egyptian meal, maps in French describing the North African Seas, a stack of dirty clothes, the Luxembourgian flag and a unique memorial tablet bearing the name of “Bel Amica”. Initially, the Italian authorities misidentified the ship and stated it was an antique but after a more thorough investigation it was concluded that the ship was actually a modern yacht.
It belonged to a man from Luxembourg who presumably attempted to evade paying hefty taxes for the luxurious private vessel. The man named Franc Rouayrux stated that he had left the ship anchored in deep waters in order to attend some urgent family matters. The fact that authorities identified incorrectly the ship’s origin and initially said it was an antique ghost ship that appeared from nowhere caused an immense media reaction which was probably the cause for Bel Amica’s popularity.