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The operator of the historic tall ship Bark EUROPA has confirmed that the vessel suffered damages after falling over in dry dock during an attempt to place it back into the water. The incident occurred last week in Cape Town, South Africa, and left one crew member with minor injuries.
In a statement, the operator said that the full extent of the ship’s damage is currently being assessed, making it difficult to determine when sailing operations can resume. The crew is actively working to address and resolve the situation, with the necessary steps to move forward still under consideration.
The EUROPA’s next scheduled sailing, set for June, may be impacted by the accident.
The ship, known for its winter expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula, has a long history dating back to its construction in 1911 at the Stülcken wharf in Hamburg, Germany. Originally named ‘Senator Brockes,’ it was commissioned by the State of Hamburg as a light ship for the German river Elbe.
Over time, the EUROPA underwent significant changes and transformations. In 1986, it was transported to the Netherlands, where it underwent an extensive eight-year renovation and re-rigging process. The ship’s interior was remodeled, including the cabins, galley, and common areas, while the exterior also received a makeover, with the vessel being re-rigged into a three-masted barque configuration.
Currently based in Scheveningen, The Hague, The Netherlands, the EUROPA can accommodate 48 trainees and 16 crew members. As an official Sail Training Vessel, it offers students the opportunity to actively participate in deck activities and instruction on sailing the ship.
As the operator continues to assess the damages and determine the necessary repairs, the future voyages and adventures of the Bark EUROPA remain uncertain.
“Please be assured that we are dedicated to getting our lady Bark EUROPA back to full operational capacity as soon as possible,” Bark EUROPA said in its statement.
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