Spirit of Bermuda damaged in collision

  • Minor damage: Spirit of Bermuda sailing off North Shore in this file photo (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

A man was taken to hospital after the Spirit of Bermuda and another boat crashed in Hamilton Harbour.

The 63-year-old was believed to be a passenger on a smaller vehicle that collided with the well-known sail training vessel on Friday.

Bermuda Police Service officers were last night investigating the crash, which was thought to have happened near the Hamilton Princess and Beach Club shortly after 9pm.

A spokesman yesterday said: “First responders were dispatched to the scene Friday night after initial information indicated that a collision occurred between the sailing vessel Spirit of Bermuda and a smaller boat in waters off Albuoy’s Point.

“Apparently a passenger on the smaller boat, now believed to be a 63-year-old Warwick man, was hurt.

“He was transported, conscious and breathing, to King Edward VII Memorial Hospital via ambulance for treatment.

“His injuries are not believed to be life threatening but an update on his medical condition is anticipated in due course.

“The extent of any damage to either vessel involved remains unclear at this time.”

However, Branwen Smith-King, executive director of the Bermuda Sloop Foundation, which operates the Spirit of Bermuda, yesterday explained: “Spirit was in a collision with a privately owned boat.

“There were no serious injuries and no major damage to either vessel.

Spirit just has a scratch, about an 8ft scratch I believe, on the port side. It’s something we can repair.

“Police took a statement from our captain and the driver of the other boat.”

She added: “Our primary concern is always the safety of our students and our crew.”

Adult passengers from a charter trip had just been dropped off at Albuoy’s Point from Spirit of Bermuda and it was heading back to Dockyard when it and the smaller vessel collided. Both boats were able to continue on their journeys.

Further details about the other vehicle were unavailable last night but it was described by one person online as “a slow-moving pleasure boat”.

It is thought around seven crew members were on the Spirit of Bermuda. None of them were hurt. A Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre spokesman confirmed: “We were made aware of an incident in Hamilton Harbour with the Spirit of Bermuda and we understand there was one injury.”

The Spirit of Bermuda is a purpose-built sail training vessel that has become a national icon as it helps to develop learning in young people.

Offering a “floating classroom” — in the shape of a tall ship — the Bermuda Sloop Foundation aims to “provide character and educational development” for children who may not get the most out of a traditional school setting.

Friday’s incident comes tenmonths after the Spirit of Bermuda was involved in a crash with a government ferry.

Its bowsprit was damaged in the collision with the Resolute in Dundonald Channel in Sandys last September.

Police later said an 18-year-old woman and a 25-year-old man suffered non-life threatening injuries in that crash.

And as well as the impact to vessels, three motorcycles on the ferry were damaged.

Witnesses or anyone with information about the latest incident were asked to call police on 295-0011.