In Memory of Will Black

Will Black

It was with great sadness that, a few days after the Monaco Yacht Show, I learned the closing hours of the event were marked by tragedy. Will Black, a 28-year-old crewmember of the sailing yacht Burrasca, was aboard one of the yacht’s tenders when he collided with another sailing yacht. Despite the efforts of the harbor patrol, the Monaco police, the organizers of the show, and countless crew from Burrasca and other yachts, Black’s body was never found.

Even though the official search has been concluded, his friends and family refuse to give up. And you can help: A fund has been set up to cover the significant costs associated with both the ongoing search and a planned memorial service.

While I never met Black, everything that I have read and heard about him makes me wish that I had. Even a quick look at just some of the hundreds of photos (like the one here) posted on the special Big Willy Facebook page created in his honor reveal a young man who was in love with life and lived it to the fullest. He was turned onto the yachting scene after serving as a cameraman aboard one of the yachts competing in an around-the-world race a few years ago. His superyacht career began aboard Parsifal III in the summer of 2006, followed by jobs with yachts like A, Absinthe, and most recently Burrasca, which he had just joined this past July.

By visiting WillBlack.org, you’ll be able to read all about him, even sign a condolences book. More important, however, you’ll also see a PayPal link on the right side, which you can click if you’d like to make a donation for the search efforts and memorial. Among the reasons why the costs are staggering: the chance that submersible equipment may be what’s needed, as the harbor is quite deep. Indeed, The Crew Report states that anyone with access to a remotely operated vehicle or submarine should contact Bianca Williams in YCO’s Monaco office, either via email: Bianca.w@ycoyacht.com or via phone: +377 93 50 12 12.