ST. HELENS, Ore. – A steam wheeler came close to rolling over a pirate ship at a festival in St. Helens on Friday.
A KATU viewer captured the incident on camera during the Maritime Heritage Festival.
In the video, you can see the Sternwheeler Portland backing in to dock in St. Helens. But as it backs up, it knocks against a replica pirate ship docked nearby.
Shuhe Hawkins was dressed in full pirate garb on his boat when the sternwheeler backed in.
He had just docked his boat and was having pictures taken to celebrate its first sailing when he noticed something wasn’t right. He turned around and saw the 20 foot tall steamboat backing towards him.
As the boat continued moving closer it pinched his pirate ship against the dock. The boat started taking on water and he was convinced it was going to sink.
“It was a little unnerving to say the least,” Hawkins said on Saturday. “This is just one of those moments. It’s so surreal you just don’t believe it’s actually happening. But it was happening.”
Nobody was hurt and eventually the sternwheeler started pulling forward again.
Repair crews worked on Hawkins’ boat on Saturday to make sure it can sail after the festival ends on Sunday.
The Coast Guard is investigating the collision. Hawkins said the crew on the steamboat was apologetic and that the captain felt horrible about the whole thing.
It was the first time in four years the sternwheeler has cruised downriver. Normally it stays docked along the Portland waterfront.
Video of the crash from Brent Violette of St. Helens: