A $51million superyacht owned by retail and internet marketing tycoon JR Ridinger sank a 160-foot gas tanker near the Bahamas on Christmas Eve.

Ridinger's 207-foot Utopia IV rammed the Tropic Breeze tanker, piercing its hull and causing it sink an estimated 2,000 feet, according to multiple reports.

Photos of the collision show the Tropic Breeze falling towards the ocean floor.

The tanker crew members were seen getting into life boats after a another passing superyacht, called Amara, aided in their rescue. 

It is unclear if Ridinger, the 65-year-old CEO of Market America and Shop.com, was aboard the boat at the time of the crash or if he will face any criminal charges.  

JR Ridinger's 207-foot Utopia IV rammed the 160-foot Tropic Breeze gas tanker, piercing its hull and causing it sink an estimated 2,000 feet shortly after 10pm on Christmas Eve. Photos show the Utopia apparently on fire while the Tropic Breeze falls towards the ocean floor

JR Ridinger's 207-foot Utopia IV rammed the 160-foot Tropic Breeze gas tanker, piercing its hull and causing it sink an estimated 2,000 feet shortly after 10pm on Christmas Eve. Photos show the Utopia apparently on fire while the Tropic Breeze falls towards the ocean floor

The tanker crew members were seen getting into life boats after a another passing superyacht, called Amara, aided in their rescue

The tanker crew members were seen getting into life boats after a another passing superyacht, called Amara, aided in their rescue

The Tropic Breeze, which was en route to Great Stirrup Cay, sank at approximately 10.03pm on December 14, about 15 miles NNW of New Providence Island

The Tropic Breeze, which was en route to Great Stirrup Cay, sank at approximately 10.03pm on December 14, about 15 miles NNW of New Providence Island

The Tropic Breeze, which was en route to Great Stirrup Cay, sank at approximately 10.03pm on December 14, about 15 miles NNW of New Providence Island.

It is unclear at what speed the Utopia was traveling when it struck the tanker. 

The vessel was reportedly carrying two Guyanese nationals - chief engineer Colin Ward and Joshua Campbell - who, like all crew members were evacuated from the tanker and rescued. 

'Due to the depth of the ocean at the location of the sinking, it has been determined that the tanker cannot be safely salvaged,' Tropic Breeze owner Maritime Management confirmed to local Caribbean National Weekly.

However, the company notes the ship's cargo included 'non-persistent materials' which were all 'lighter than water and will evaporate if exposed to surface air.'

It is unclear if Ridinger (pictured with his wife Loren earlier this month), the 65-year-old CEO of Market America and Shop.com, was aboard the boat at the time of the crash or if he will face any criminal charges

It is unclear if Ridinger (pictured with his wife Loren earlier this month), the 65-year-old CEO of Market America and Shop.com, was aboard the boat at the time of the crash or if he will face any criminal charges

Pictured: Ridinger's superyacht, the Utopia IV

Pictured: Ridinger's superyacht, the Utopia IV

The Tropic Breeze, which is registered in Belize, was inspected earlier in December and 'found by the authorities to be fully compliant with all national and international safety and vessel integrity standards'.

The Bahamas Ministry of Transport has launched an investigation into the collision and consulted the Attorney General for guidance. 

The Department of Environmental Health is also reviewing the environmental impact of the incident.

Federal officials will provide an update pending the results of the investigations. 

Meanwhile, the extent of damage caused to the Utopia - which was designed and built by Italy's Rossinavi in 2018 - remains unknown. 

The superyacht, which sleeps 12, features four Rolls Royce hydro jets offering a top speed of 33 knots and an average cruising speed of 26 knots. 

The Tropic Breeze, which is registered in Belize, was inspected earlier in December and 'found by the authorities to be fully compliant with all national and international safety and vessel integrity standards'

The Tropic Breeze, which is registered in Belize, was inspected earlier in December and 'found by the authorities to be fully compliant with all national and international safety and vessel integrity standards' 

Due to the depth of the ocean at the location of the sinking, it has been determined that the tanker cannot be safely salvaged. A boat believed to be the Utopia is pictured in the aftermath of the accident

Due to the depth of the ocean at the location of the sinking, it has been determined that the tanker cannot be safely salvaged. A boat believed to be the Utopia is pictured in the aftermath of the accident 

The interior was decorated with luxury brands like Hermes and Armani. The ship also has a glass-bottomed pool and jacuzzi in the owner's suite.   

Ridinger's wife, Loren, 53, conducted a video tour of the boat in June 2018, likely shortly after they obtained the vessel, which replaced their previous yacht, Utopia III.

While she touted the boat's features, Loren noted: 'Most important thing is it's really a family boat, a Market America boat, a Shop.com boat - this boat was built with love.'

'We've spent a tremendous amount of time putting this thing together from the heart.' 

The family, worth an estimated $300m, is said to be travel on their yachts frequently. In fact, in July 2020, when the Ridingers put their West Chelsea Manhattan duplex on the market Loren told the New York Post: 'We've always been avid yachters so having our yacht across the street was super convenient.' 

The superyacht, which sleeps 12, features four Rolls Royce hydro jets offering a top speed of 33 knots and an average cruising speed of 26 knots (Pictured: Loren Ridinger in 2018 offering a tour of the boat)

The superyacht, which sleeps 12, features four Rolls Royce hydro jets offering a top speed of 33 knots and an average cruising speed of 26 knots (Pictured: Loren Ridinger in 2018 offering a tour of the boat)

The interior was decorated with luxury brands like Hermes and Armani. The ship also has a glass-bottomed pool and jacuzzi in the owner's suite

The interior was decorated with luxury brands like Hermes and Armani. The ship also has a glass-bottomed pool and jacuzzi in the owner's suite

Pictured: A bedroom on the Utopia IV

Pictured: A bedroom on the Utopia IV

Pictured: An exterior deck on the Utopia IV

Pictured: An exterior deck on the Utopia IV

Ridinger, whose net worth is approximately $300million, according to Celebrity Net Worth, and Loren co-founded Market America and Shop.com in 1992. 

Market America, which runs Shop.com, has done more than $1 billion in sales by helping companies launch products. 

Ridinger, as of February, was said to be the richest man in network marketing. 

One of his firms recently purchased a $18.5million penthouse in the One Thousand Museum, a luxury condominium complex in Miami, South Florida Business Journal reported about two weeks ago.

The condo totals 9,200 square feet and features five bedrooms, six-and-a-half bathrooms and 1,020 square feet of terraces. 

Building amenities include a pool deck, spa, sauna, steam room, beauty salon, fitness center, helipad and massive sky lounge. 

Ridinger (pictured in one of his Business Strategy videos), whose net worth is approximately $300million, and Loren co-founded Market America and Shop.com in 1992. As of February, he was said to be the richest man in network marketing

Ridinger (pictured in one of his Business Strategy videos), whose net worth is approximately $300million, and Loren co-founded Market America and Shop.com in 1992. As of February, he was said to be the richest man in network marketing

One of Ridinger's firms recently purchased a $18.5million penthouse in the One Thousand Museum, a luxury condominium complex in Miami (pictured)

One of Ridinger's firms recently purchased a $18.5million penthouse in the One Thousand Museum, a luxury condominium complex in Miami (pictured)

The Ridingers' purchase was the second-highest transaction in the complex (Pictured: A unit to similar to the one owned by the Ridingers)

The Ridingers' purchase was the second-highest transaction in the complex (Pictured: A unit to similar to the one owned by the Ridingers)

The Ridingers' purchase was the second-highest transaction in the complex, with the first being the purchase of a $19.8million penthouse purchased by soccer superstar David Beckham and his wife, fashion designer and former Spice Girl, Victoria Beckham.

While his Market America biography says he resides in Miami Beach, the Ridingers likely have additional properties. 

It is known that they previously owned homes in New York City and their businesses are headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina and Monterey, California. 

The couple also share two daughters, Amber, 29, and Amanda, whose age is unknown. 

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