Back in 2018, in the Netherlands, a Noah’s Ark replica was unleashed upon the world and quickly caused chaos. It was called the VerhalenArk, and it was essentially a Bible-themed museum (with animals!) that looked like Ken Ham‘s boat… minus the $100 million cost.
But as soon as it began sailing, it crashed into several boats docked along the IJsselmeer lake.
— Jannie R (@Jannetje8) January 3, 2018
At the time, owner Aad Peters said he was shocked by the damage: “We have been on the road for years and have experienced many storms, but this has never happened before.”
We didn’t hear much about the boat after that. It just functioned as a museum and the world more or less ignored it. But in late 2019, the boat docked in the city of Ipswich, in England… and never left.
Now the East Anglian Daily Times reports that there’s a good reason it never left: The British government’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency says the boat is too unsafe. It’s like driving a car that could break down at any moment.
It also cannot sail under a Dutch flag despite being registered there, key certification is missing and, since April 1, the vessel has been accruing a fine of £500 a day.
The Ark’s owners want to leave but the coastguard will not allow it to so an “impossible stalemate” has been reached. It has led to wrangling between the British and Dutch authorities which has culminated in the transport secretary Grant Shapps being asked to intervene.
The detention report, seen by this newspaper, suggests the Ark arrived with legally-required load line certificates missing, no tonnage information, and a range of other concerns such as overdue services for fire equipment, life jackets and life crafts.
It’s possible the government gives the boat an exemption and allows it to travel back home, but it’s also possible they force the boat’s owners to refurbish it until it’s safe. Whatever the case, this vessel that’s supposed to be proof of the Bible’s truth has become a safety hazard… which may be the most perfect metaphor ever.
(Thanks to Jerry for the link)