On 31st August 2015, the UK Border Force spotted a vessel off the coast of East Sussex which they were worried may be in distress. The medium sized sailboat was motoring around Dover, its sails wound up into its hydrolic masts, but even though it wasn't under sail it was listing (leaning) to one side. At this point they realised the sailboat had either switched off or had a non-functioning navigation beacon. This became quite suspicious and the coast guards set off to get a closer look. When they reached the sailboat they found two men on board, 68 year old Hendrik Brugmans and 46 year old Raymond Aalders, both Dutch nationals We don't know what happened between the crew and the coast guards at that time but whatever it was, it resulted in the vessel being taken into Dover and searched. Once the authorities starting poking around the insides, they soon discovered an incredible amount of stashed cocaine. The drug was 70% pure and if adulterated, the amount found on the sailboat would have raked in around £120 million on the English market.
Needless the say the sailboat was seized and the two men were slung in jail. In June 2016 they were both found guilty of drug smuggling and sentenced to more than 34 years in prison, combined.
Golem, the sailboat, spent a year being taken apart and prodded by police and then left outside unsecured in the elements. It's safe to say that the authorities did not prioritise the yachts upkeep or appropriate handling (the hydrolic mast was sawn through!). If you'd like to have a read through the survey conducted on Golem just before she went to auction, you can do so by clicking HERE.