Back in April, an Inquisitr article told the story of Johan Huibers, who constructed a replica of Noah’s Ark and intended on sailing it to Brazil for the 2016 Olympic Games. The Noah’s Ark replica that Huibers intends to take to Brazil is the second ark Huibers built, and the first Noah’s Ark replica, which is smaller, was being towed to Norway when it crashed into a Coast Guard patrol boat in the Port of Oslo on Friday morning, June 10, according to the New York Times.
Of course, the internet proceeded to blast out relevant jokes, such as the tweets featured below.
Huibers, however, was not laughing, and neither was Aad Peters, who bought the smaller Noah’s Ark replica from Huibers in 2010. Peters, a Dutch puppeteer, television producer, and philanthropist, had taken the ark for visits across the Netherlands and was taking the boat to Norway when the collision occurred. Huibers told the New York Times how upset he was about the crash by telephone from Amsterdam.
“I’m shaking now. It’s a terrible situation. It’s an awful dream, to have an accident with the Ark of Noah.”
Huibers said he had also spoken to Peters, who was so upset he could not comment publicly about the incident, according to the New York Times. Huibers said that he had to help Peters out and that he was going to go to Norway with “wood, nails and a hammer” to repair the ark.
Huibers had built the smaller ark, his first, between 2005 and 2007 and said that the construction of the first ark had helped him tackle the task of building the second ark, which was built to a more biblical scale and much larger than the first ark. The second Noah’s Ark replica, which is scheduled to set sail for Brazil and the Olympics, is about 410 feet long, 95 feet wide, and 75 feet tall. The bigger ark has five decks and can accommodate 5,000 people at a time according to the NY Times. Both arks are on steel barges and must be towed.
The smaller ark, which Peters owns, was being towed to Norway when the collision happened. Apparently, the crew lost control and the barge collided with the Norwegian Coast Guard boat. There were no animals on the ark, but one of the ark’s wooden sides was damaged, along with a small crane on the coast guard patrol boat. No one was injured, said Lt. Rune Svartsund, who was a spokesman for the coast guard.
Ole Herman Kjernsby, the head of travel at Stena Line, a ferry company based in Oslo, said that staff members of Stena Line did not witness the accident but saw the damage afterward, which included what Kjernsby called “a huge rift” in the side of the ark. Kjernsby said in a telephone interview that they were all surprised the accident happened.
“Accidents happen so rarely here, especially with such large vessels.”
The Ark of Noah Foundation, based in Pasadena, California, has taken over fundraising for the larger Noah’s Ark replica and is planning on taking it to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in time for the Paralympic Games this September. According to their website, the reason behind taking the ark to Brazil stems from the passion of Johan Huibers to help bring the Gospel to the underprivileged communities throughout Brazil, and he feels that proceeds and donations from visitors around the world who will visit the Olympics will help those communities.
The goal is to take Noah’s Ark from port to port, “spreading the experience of hope and the good news of Jesus Christ to millions.” The ark is supposed to stay in Brazil for two to four years and will travel to different ports such as Fortaleza, Rio de Janeiro, Manaus, Belem, Recife, Salvador, Vitoria, Santos-Guaruja, Florianopolis, and Porto Alegre. The Foundation will coordinate with local communities in each port to bring underprivileged families and orphans to tour the ark for free.
[Image via YouTube]