A tall ship known as the Oliver Hazard Perry was attempting to depart Rhode Island’s Newport Harbor after the Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival on Sunday when things went afoul in the wind.
The educational tall ship lost power when two propellers became entangled with a dock line, causing the 200-foot ship to collide with four boats.
Warning: Videos contain some profane language.
The U.S. Coast Guard’s First District headquarters in Boston reported that the tall ship grounded near Perrotti Park, which would explain why the ship blocked a channel used by cruise ships to ferry passengers to shore to visit Newport.
It blocked access through Monday afternoon when tugboats helped the tall ship make its voyage back to Fort Adams.
Two cruise ships visiting Newport were unable to transport its passengers to Newport, leaving an impact on the local economy, The Newport Buzz reported.
The Oliver Hazard Perry Facebook page reported that the tall ship did not run aground, as the coast guard said, adding that there were no injuries and only minimal damage to the four boats it collided with.
Alex Keller, yacht manager and captain of the 60-foot small yacht Jessica, said his ship was pinned against a dock and ”used as a fender” by the tall ship. The smaller vessel was finally freed Monday morning and needs to be checked at a shipyard to see whether there is structural damage, he said.
He said that he was surprised the captain of the tall ship was trying to operate it in winds that were blowing at 25 knots and that he would not have done it himself unless it was an emergency.
Wurzbacher said it is a 500-ton vessel that regularly operates in windy conditions and the captain determined it was safe.
”I don’t think the weather affected the incident,” she said.
The captain of the Trade Wind, Darius Dupey, was on the small wooden yacht when it was struck by the Oliver Hazard Perry. In cellphone video of the accident, Dupey tells the Oliver Hazard Perry crew to go forward, then yells ”Oh, my God!” and ”Whoa” as the tall ship gets closer and wood crunches on impact.
He said they won’t know the full extent of the damage until the yacht is hauled out of the water and inspected.
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