A massive ship once owned by the estate of the late billionaire Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has toppled over at a dockyard in Scotland, leaving at least 35 injured.
High winds caused the 250-foot U.S. Navy research vessel, RV Petrel, to become dislodged from its holding on a dry dock.
A major incident was declared and emergency crews were swiftly called to the Imperial Dock in Leith, Edinburgh.
Scotland’s local TV station, STV, reported there were around 50 refurbishment workers on board, as well as a number of U.S. citizens. The U.S. Consulate in Edinburgh said it was monitoring the situation and offering support.
At least, 12 ambulances, an air ambulance, three trauma teams, and a fire service attended the scene with 21 patients rushed to hospital, according to the Telegraph.
Harrowing photos from the scene show the 3,000-ton ship leaning at a 45-degree angle.
— ARROWSMITH🏴 (@KtLeeArrowsmith) March 22, 2023
A local politician Adam McVey described the incident as “terrifying” on Twitter. “My thoughts are with those who’ve been injured & hope everyone recovers quickly,” he added.
Emergency services are responding to a major incident at Leith docks- a ship has been dislodged from its holding in strong winds.
Terrifying for those on board, my thoughts are with those who’ve been injured & hope everyone recovers quickly.
Please avoid area. pic.twitter.com/aREtG80Gq1
— Cllr Adam McVey (@adamrmcvey) March 22, 2023
The ship’s previous owner, Paul Allen, converted it into a deep submergence research vessel in 2017—just a year before he passed away at the age of 65.
The billionaire died of septic shock, a known complication of his non-Hodgkins lymphoma cancer diagnosis.
With a net worth of $20.3 billion, he ranked as the 44th-wealthiest person in the world at the time of his death, and the RV Petrel wasn’t the only ship he acquired in his lifetime.
His yacht “Tatoosh” was sold from his estate last November. The lavish 303-footer with five decks was listed for $90 million and sold in-house for an undisclosed sum.
His second superyacht, called “Octopus”, is one of the largest ships in the world at 414 feet. It was sold at around the same time as Tatoosh to the Swedish pharmaceuticals billionaire Roger Samuelsson after originally being listed for $325 million.
Allen's sister Jody Allen, who was executor of his estate, sold the yachts as per her late brother's instruction, according to The Street.
The RV Petrel was also sold in 2022 for a reported sum of $12.4 million to the U.S. Navy.
The ship, which has previously been used for deep-water searches and made global headlines for discovering the long-lost USS Indianapolis in 2017, was put into long-term moorage in 2020 due to “operation challenges” during the pandemic.
It was one of the few ships worldwide equipped to explore 19,685 ft (6,000 m) below the ocean’s surface, and featured a remotely-operated vehicle for use once targets were identified and a multibeam echo-sounder.
It found the World War II-era USS Indianapolis in the Philippine Sea. It is thought that more than 850 crew members died when it sank in 1945, marking the largest loss of life at sea in the history of the U.S. Navy.
"To be able to honor the brave men of the USS Indianapolis and their families through the discovery of a ship that played such a significant role during World War II is truly humbling," Allen said in a statement at the time.
This story was originally featured on Fortune.com
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