Things went very wrong during Maryland Fleet Week on Sunday when a Danish training ship veered into a U.S. Navy vessel. The fully rigged steel-hulled sailing ship, the Danmark, was being towed through Baltimore’s Inner Harbor when it hit the U.S. Navy’s littoral combat ship the USS Minneapolis-St. Paul.

According to CBS, the ship hit wooden pilings in the harbor first, just after 11 a.m. on Sunday. The effort to move the Danmark continued, but one end of the ship was pulled directly into the bow of the Navy vessel. It’s unclear what went wrong with the tow. 

Video taken aboard the Navy warship has people nervously laughing, unable to do anything as the ship comes closer. When it hits the side of the Minneapolis-St. Paul there’s a sickening crunch of wood splintering. 

“Uh oh — shit,” one person says. “Oh fuck,” another one adds right before impact.

The Minneapolis St. Paul is likely fine, it’s a metal ship. The Navy confirmed that the littoral combat ship suffered “no serious damage.” The extent of the damage to the Danmark, however, is unclear. 

“No U.S. Navy personnel were injured and no serious damage sustained onboard USS Minneapolis St. Paul (LCS 21) when the Danish training ship Danmark made contact with the moored LCS while the Danish ship was getting underway from the Baltimore Inner Harbor Sept. 11, 2022,” the Navy said in a statement, which was released by the Baltimore Police Department. 

Navy photo
The Danmark arriving in Baltimore, prior to its crash. (Photo courtesy U.S. Navy)

In a photo posted to Twitter by reporter Christian Schaffer, damaged railing at the aft of the Danmark can be seen, with the Minneapolis-St. Paul almost directly lined up with the smaller vessel. The Danmark’s sails weren’t deployed, and it was being moved solely by the tugboat. 

Robert Wray responded to Schaffer’s tweet, saying he was onboard the littoral combat ship when impact happened.

“I was on the deck with my 4-year-old. I’m in photo running to take cover behind the gun turret and in front of the two sailors who are also running aft,” Wray tweeted. “I think we were all worried that we might have some shrapnel from the collision. Which didn’t seem to happen.”

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Maryland Fleet Week runs through Tuesday. The event brought in ships from multiple nations, including Denmark and Canada. The Danmark was commissioned in 1933 and actually loaned out to the United States in World War II to serve as a training vessel. It was returned in 1945, and upgrades reduced the crew from 120 to 80. It does have a diesel motor, but is mainly operated by sail.

The Danmark is remaining in the harbor in Baltimore. 

CORRECTION: 9/13/2022; An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the Danmark was a wooden ship. The Danmark is steel-hulled.

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