Jobless Frenchmen arrested after 'borrowing' luxury yacht

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ANTIBES, France -- Two unemployed young Frenchmen found themselves in hot water on the Cote d'Azur when they "borrowed" a luxury yacht and took it out for a spin in the middle of the night.

The pair, identified as 20-year-old Yanis and 24-year-old Maxime, traveled Friday from their hometown of Douai in northern France to the Riviera resort of Antibes, but did not have any money, the Nice Matin newspaper reported.

Needing somewhere to stay, they spotted an unoccupied yacht, the €1.5 million ($1.86 million) Pharaon, and clambered aboard.

Occupants of neighboring vessels assumed the two men were friends of the yacht's owner and did not alert authorities, even though they slept on deck and hung clothes over the side.

The following night, Yanis and Maxime took the yacht out along the coast toward Nice and spent the night anchored at sea.

When they returned to Antibes the next morning, port authorities were waiting for them, and they were arrested. The yacht suffered scratches and a damaged propeller.

Asked how they managed to operate the yacht without a license or any boating experience, the two joyriders said they simply read the manual.

Asked by the judge why he did it, Yanis shrugged, "We wanted to go for a ride."

Yanis received a six-month suspended sentence, while Maxime was jailed for a year due to a previous conviction.

Click here for more on this story from Nice Matin.