The VerhalenArk, also called the “Ark of Noah” in English, ploughed into several boats in Holland’s port of Urk early on Wednesday afternoon.
Owned by Dutchman Aad Peters, it was one of two bible-themed boats built by deranged Dutch building contractor and creationist Johan Huibers, who said in this interview:
The people in the Netherlands have to be reached by the Gospel. That is the aim of the ‘Ark’. In the past most people went to church and heard the Word on Sundays. Now they don’t go to church anymore, so to reach them, God uses other means.
What, like sending the monstrosity crashing into people’s property?
Peters said he was stunned by the damage caused by his vessel.
We have been on the road for years and have experienced many storms, but this has never happened before.
This has never happened before?
In 2016 the ark – the smaller of two built by Huibers – crashed into a patrol vessel in Oslo and was extensively damaged.
Peters, a Dutch puppeteer, television producer and philanthropist bought the smaller ark in 2010 and since then has taken it for visits to towns across the Netherlands, and was preparing to do the same in Norway when the collision occurred.
People and animals were aboard the VerhalenArk yesterday when it broke free of its moorings during a storm. Seven people were rescued off the museum, but the animals remained into the evening.
Wind gusts of about 107 kilometers per hour were reported just north of Urk at the time of the accident.
The ark ripped a post out of the ground and almost floated away last month. A port representative said:
We did the maximum we could, but apparently it was not enough. This morning there was a big gust of wind and there it went.
Emergency services were first called out to the harbor for a reports of a ship in trouble just after 12:30 pm. More crews were sent to the scene on a high priority call about 25 minutes later, and by 1:15 pm dive teams were dispatched to the scene to assist.
The 70-meter-long ark measures 10 meters wide and is 13 meters high, according to the museum. It claims to be Europe’s first floating Bible museum, and opened in Urk at the end of November.
It was scheduled to remain there until the end of February.
Huiber’s larger Johan’s Ark was completed at a cost of €4-million (£3.56-million) in 2012.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn