Clive Palmer - the man behind Titanic II - had a near-miss when his luxury motor yacht lost power at sea

An Australian billionaire who plans to build a full-size replica of the Titanic – called Titanic II – had a close shave when his luxury motor yacht came dangerously close to colliding with rocks off Queensland’s Gold Coast.

Clive Palmer was said to be entertaining business associates on Wednesday (20 March 2013) when the £3.5 million yacht Maximus lost power and began drifting towards rocks, according a report in The Gold Coast Bulletin.

The frightened guests donned lifejackets while one of the crew set off a flare to guide water police towards the stricken boat. A line was secured to the stern and the boat was towed to a berth at Mariners Cove.

Steve Pomas, a search and rescue controller, said: “It can be quite dangerous whenever you are dealing with a boat of that size and it’s challenging.”

“I don’t think [it] would have sunk if it did hit the rocks. But I think it shows no matter how wealthy, and what size boat you’ve got, you can get into trouble.”

Pomas also revealed that it is the second time Palmer has had trouble at sea after the mining magnate ran aground “in a similar-sized boat on the northern Broadwater a few years ago”.

The businessman, said to be worth an estimated £523 million by Forbes magazine, recently unveiled his plans to build the Titanic II, a faithful replica of the infamous cruise ship which sank on her maiden voyage after hitting an iceberg in 1912.

The new vessel will have a safety deck and adequate lifeboats and is set to launch in 2016.

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