A Noah’s Ark replica that has been detained in Ipswich, England, for 18 months has been accruing daily fines of £500, or $700, since April 1. The replica is in something of a catch-22 as British authorities are preventing it from setting sail on the grounds that it is unseaworthy, but have been levying fines because it remains in port.
“We do have concerns about this vessel and we cannot rely on the grace of God that it can be safely towed to Holland,” said the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), according to emails obtained by the East Anglian Daily Times (EADT). “Noah’s Ark will remain detained until all the deficiencies have been put right and an MCA surveyor is invited back by the owners to check they’ve been corrected.”
Noah’s Ark Replica Stuck in Limbo
The Noah’s Ark replica is owned by Aad Peters, a Dutch television and theater producer who purchased it in 2010 for three million dollars from Dutch carpenter Johan Huibers. The ark is one of two replicas that Huibers built to “educate people and strengthen their belief in God.” Peters’ ark is a 21,528 square foot museum and is estimated to be about half the size of the ark described in the Bible.
Peters’ ark has no engine and cannot travel on its own, but has to be towed. It arrived in Ipswich in October 2019, and British authorities impounded it the following month. According to the New York Times, visitors still toured the museum until March 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.