A boating accident aboard the luxury yacht, The World, has claimed the life of former Australian television executive and philanthropist Neil Balnaves at age 77.
While aboard the luxury residential yacht, Australia’s ABC affiliate reports, Balnaves died in an accident off the coast of Tahiti.
The accident happened on Monday, according to the Australian Financial Review.
His death follows a life-changing boating accident that he survived 20 years ago.
“I ended up having a pretty shocking accident in my late 50s,” he told ABC Australia’s Michael Cathcart in 2013. “It was a boating accident that really flattened me and I took a year to recover.”
As a result of the accident, Balnaves was in constant pain and unable to travel. He sold his television production company and used the significant amount of profits to go into philanthropy, reported the outlet.
“What was I going to do with it? There was that quite weird stage where you think a bigger boat would be nice, or a plane would be lovely, or a bigger house,” he said in 2013. “[But] that was pretty false, and then that brought into existence the [Balnaves] Foundation. I really came to the conclusion … that it was good to give something back to the country that have been good to me.”
According to its website, the Balnaves Foundation is a private philanthropic foundation that disperses “over $3 million annually to eligible organizations that aim to create a better Australia through education, medicine and the arts with a focus on young people, the disadvantaged and indigenous” people.
Established in 2006, ABC reported that the foundation had donated more than $40 million over its 15-year history.
The philanthropist was active in the Australian television industry between 1975 and 1986.
Details about how Balnaves died were not immediately available. According to its website, The World is “the largest, privately owned residential yacht on earth.”
People magazine stated, “Launched in 2002, The World caters to entrepreneurial and philanthropic residents, who own the 165 separate luxury living quarters aboard.”
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