Iconic 112-Year-Old Tall Ship Topples Over In Drydock

The voyages at the turn of the 19th century to Antarctica were the last great age of human exploration on Earth.

Many individuals romanticize the expeditions of Roald Amundsen and Ernest Shackleton as they set sail for an inhospitable land and travelled to the South Pole. A part of the adventure was being able to sail out of port. Recently, a 112-year-old voyage vessel fell over while in a drydock in South Africa.

The Bark Europa reportedly toppled over as it was in the process of being placed back into the water during scheduled maintenance tasks. The vessel was scheduled to sail for Cape Town in South Africa in about three weeks to head out on a 53-day cruise. Per the vessel operator, a sailor was seriously injured in the incident, but they are in a stable state.

Bark Europa
Antarctic Tall Ship, Bark Europa, Topples Over In Drydock. Image Credit: Bark Europa

It is not yet clear when the vessel will return to the water. The operator mentioned on the website:

The extent of the damages to the vessel is being assessed at the moment. They cannot assess the timeline for resuming sailing operations. They want to assure that the crew members are diligently working to address and resolve the scenario to determine the necessary steps to move ahead.

The Europa was constructed in 1911. It served Germany’s federal coast guard on River Elbe until the late 1970s. The steel-hull vessel was purchased by Dutchman in the 1980s and retrofitted into a three-masted training vessel.

Today, the vessel goes on Antarctic voyages regularly with a crew comprising 16 sailors and up to almost 48 paying trainees.

Vessels such as the Europa offer a unique experience for those who are seeking an adventure on the seas and an opportunity to know more about sailing large vessels hands-on. There are several who cannot wait for the Europa to head back to the ocean.

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