136-year-old Ship Crashes and Sinks Weeks After $1.7-million Renovation Debut
A newly restored 19th-century wooden German sailboat crashed and sank just days after hitting the water again. Five people were injured in the crash over the weekend, one seriously, according to Associated Press.
The Elba No. 5 underwent a $1.7-million (€1.5-million) renovation that took nearly nine months to complete. It had resumed taking passengers on voyages only at the end of last month.
The wooden schooner collided with the Astrosprinter, a container ship, in the Elbe River near Hamburg, Germany. There were 43 people on board at the time of the collision. A fire service boat came to the rescue and brought the ship’s passengers and crew back to land.
“We are deeply saddened by the collision,” the Hamburg Maritime Foundation, which owns the ship, said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with the passengers and the members of the ship's crew who were hurt.”
The Elba No. 5 first set sail in 1883 and was the city’s oldest fully-wooden ship. The 121-foot schooner was used to guide larger boats from the sea to the port of Hamburg. It was sold to an American adventurer in the 1920s and returned back to Germany only in 2002, where it was rented for harbor tours.
The amount of damage to the boat is still unknown, but there is a chance it could sail again. Rescue crews are looking into the possibility of recovering the ship from the bottom of the river.
“It’s made of wood and had some damage before,” Wolfgang Bentz, who worked on the restoration, told German radio station NDR. “Let’s see what further damage is added in the rescue effort.”