Ark Crashes into Marina
On Wednesday, a winter storm tore a replica of Noah's Ark loose from its moorings and sent it crashing into a line of sailboats at a marina in Urk, a fishing community 30 miles northeast of Amsterdam. Local media reported wind gusts of up to 65 knots in the harbor at the time of the accident.
Video from the scene shows extensive damage to one of the marina's piers, and two yachts were trapped between the hull of the ark and the wharf. In addition, the owners of the passenger vessel De Zuiderzee assert that the ark struck and damaged their ship as it moved across the harbor.
A KNRM launch evacuated the ark's passengers using the vessel's own gangway; local media reports indicate that there were seven individuals and an unspecified number of animals on board the vessel. The following morning, two small tugs removed the ark from the scene and towed it to a safe berth.
The 230-foot replica of Noah's Ark sits upon a conventional deck barge, and it houses a bible-themed mobile museum, the VerhalenArk (StoryArk). The museum features a large collection of carved wooden statuary depicting biblical characters, and its roving itinerary takes it around Northern Europe with a new port of call every few months.
Owner Aad Peters told Omroep Flevoland that this was the first time his vessel had been involved in such an incident. "We have been on the road for years and have experienced many storms, but this has never happened before," he said. Peters added that the damage to the ark was minimal, thanks to the strength of its steel barge.