Noah’s Ark smashes boats two-by-two in storm-hit Dutch harbour (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Noah’s Ark smashes boats two-by-two in storm-hit Dutch harbour (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
A huge replica of Noah’s Ark caused “significant” damage after gale-force winds sent the model crashing into other boats during a near-Biblical storm in a Dutch fishing village.

Seven people and several animals had to be rescued in the port of Urk Wednesday when the vessel – a 70-meter-long replica of the ark from the Old Testament – went adrift and collided with several moored boats in the harbour.

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The people on board were brought to shore by the Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution (KNRM), while one rabbit and a pair of snakes were reportedly left on the boat.

Speaking to regional broadcaster Omroep Flevoland following the incident, the vessel’s owner Aad Peters said that strength of the winds tore the ark away from the boulders it was fastened to. “We had fastened it properly as we're used to storms. I don't know how it managed to break loose,” said Peters.

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The Bible-themed floating “museum,” which has been docked in Urk since January, sustained only minor damage due its steel hull, said Peters. “I hope that it isn't too bad for those small boats,” he added.

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However, according to Urk Mayor Pieter van Maaren, the vessel caused “significant” damage to the smaller boats in the harbour, while Ad Hagoort, the owner of another boat that was in the harbour, said the incident looked much worse than it really was. "About eight boats were damaged, two of which were more serious,” Hagoort told Dutch newspaper De Stentor.

Peters said he and his team have been on tour with the ark for years and have experienced many storms. “But this has never happened before,” he said.

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