A man suspected of stealing a $200,000 French registered yacht three years ago has reported to have left Australia, where the boat washed ashore.
The 11-metre Grand Soleil 37, Nirvelli washed ashore in April in Wooli, New South Wales, nearly three years after the yacht was stolen from a French marina.
It was later removed from the beach by the Wooli authorities after it began breaking up.
The bill for the removal cost Australian tax payers $15,000.
Nirvelli is reported to have been stolen from its mooring in the Mediterranean port of La Seyne-Sur-Mer in August 2013.
According to reports in the Daily Examiner newspaper, a man, who identified himself to Wooli residents as Lucien, turned up to claim the yacht after it washed ashore.
He is believed to have been the same man who abandoned the yacht south of Raoul Island, New Zealand in March 2015 because of the threat of Cyclone Pam.
The French skipper was rescued by the New Zealand navy vessel, HMNZS Wellington after the yacht was found to have engine problems, no emergency beacon and damage to its sail.
Wooli locals told the Daily Examiner that Lucien stayed in the area for two days, inspecting the boat, which he claimed to own.
“He was talking about getting some money together through his family,” said one resident to the newspaper.
“It wasn’t long before the story came out the boat was probably stolen, but he disappeared. He probably caught the first plane out of here.”
The paper claims that the New South Wales Police, Australian Federal Police and the Australian Border Force have “all professed no interest in the knowledge of the vessel”.
The disappearance of the Nirvelli has been covered extensively by French journalist, Delphine Fleury, who has spoken to the original owner.
Fleury, said the owner was able to track the yacht via social media and other internet references.
He has tracked the boat from the Mediterranean to the Panama Canal and finally to the South Pacific.