An errant dock line fouled propellers and set the Rhode Island tall ship Oliver Hazard Perry to drift into a Newport marina Sunday night, according to the Coast Guard and the vessel’s operators.
The 200’x38’x13’ Perry, a three-masted, square rigged steel sail training vessel delivered in 2015 by Senesco Marine, North Kingston, R.I., was departing from the Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival with 12 crewmembers on board when the propellers fouled, leading to a shutdown of the ship’s twin Caterpillar C12 385-hp engines at around 6:15 p.m.
As the Perry crew tried to stop the drift with anchors, the ship allided with four boats docked at the Newport Harbor Hotel Marina and Newport Yacht Club, the Providence Journal reported. Damage to the Perry was minimal, and the four private boats were being assessed for damage.
With a tow line secured, the ship was moved to Perrotti Park with assistance from the Newport harbor master, the Coast Guard and Old Port Marine Service. A diver cleared the fouled propellers. On Monday, the 58’x19’x8’, 1,000-hp tug Jaguar from Mitchell Towing and Salvage, Fairhaven, Mass., assisted moving the Perry back to its home berth at Fort Adams.
The Perry is operated by a non-profit foundation, Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island, as a civilian sailing training ship. At its commissioning the Perry was said to be the first full-rigged sailing ship built in the U.S. in over 100 years, carrying a crew of 17 and up to 32 passengers or trainees.
The incident appears to have not resulted in any serious damage to the ship, and sea trials will be conducted to confirm the vessel’s fitness, according to foundation officials. They expect the Perry’s upcoming 2018 sailing will not be affected.