Story at a glance

  • A massive replica of Noah’s Ark has created a years-long stir after it was first detained at a U.K. dock.
  • The 230-foot-long boat, which travelled from Holland, has been reportedly deemed unseaworthy and consequently stalled at the Orwell Bay in Ipswich for nearly two years.
  • Since 2019, the 61-year-old ark has accrued more than $17,000 in fees.

A massive replica of Noah’s Ark has created a years-long stir after it was first detained at a dock in the United Kingdom.

The 230-foot-long boat, which travelled from Holland, has been reportedly deemed unseaworthy and consequently stalled at the Orwell Bay in Ipswich for nearly two years — although the boat’s owner, Aad Peters, claims the vessel is a “non-certified floating object” that is not subject to international guidelines.  

“We do have concerns about this vessel and we cannot rely on the grace of God that it can be safely towed to Holland,” officials from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency wrote in documents obtained via a Freedom of Information request made by the Ipswich Star

The agency argued in the documents that the ship’s advanced age and lack of qualifications added to its safety concerns. Since 2019, the 61-year-old ark has accrued more than $17,000 in fees. 

“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,” an official from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency stated in a document. 


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Mounting fines and the inability to leave the dock has created an “impossible stalemate,” the owners argue, according to the outlet. The Dutch government has reportedly lobbied the U.K.'s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to set the boat free, with one former MP in Holland advocating for the boat to be released because “there is only one ark in the world.” 

But Ipswich MP Tom Hunt told the local paper that authorities are at an impasse after hitting “a bit of a brick wall.”

“It’s a very strange and unusual issue to crop up,” Hunt said. “We’re working with the Dutch authorities and are trying our best to get it back to Holland one way or another.”

A spokesperson for the U.K. Department of Transport told the outlet that “safety remains the top priority" in any ongoing discussions. 

Peters reportedly purchased the boat in 2018 and employed 50 expert craftsmen to fashion somewhat of a floating museum containing depictions of biblical lore. 


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Published on Jun 11, 2021