Local News

Replica Nina Ship Sinks in Corpus Christi in Midst of Harvey’s Melee

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Tony Maples Photography


In 1992, to commemorate his historic 1492 voyage, full-size, exact replicas of Columbus’ ships, the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria, sailed to North America, making their way to the state of Texas, and docking in Corpus Christi in 1993. By 2014, the Pinta and Santa Maria were dry docked at the Museum for Science and History and the Nina remained, for which the Columbus Sailing Association had coordinated volunteers to repair and restore it to its former good condition.

The full-sized ships were as close in proximity as possible (per extensive research and documentation completed in Spain) to the original Columbus sailing vessels, and the Nina proudly continued to hold its berth at Corpus Christi Marina, until Hurricane Harvey made landfall last week.

Replica Nina Ship Sinks in Corpus Christi in the Midst of Harvey’s Melee

Photo: Facebook/Wooden Boat Forum Via John Bratton Video

Over the course of initial contact as a category four hurricane, through downgrading to a category one, and then a tropical storm, Harvey hit the Nina at the Corpus Christi Marina without mercy, sinking it in the melee. A local admirer of the ship connected with the Texas Media Group to advise of it being swamped and taken under and staff at the Corpus Christi Marina sadly confirmed the damage via email, advising that “…at this time the City of Corpus Christi is reviewing their options on how to proceed.”

Replica Nina Ship Sinks in Corpus Christi in the Midst of Harvey’s Melee

Photo: Courtesy of Corpus Christi Marina

Prior to its current state, city and statewide volunteers had previously offered their personal time and effort on Saturdays, devoted to maintaining the Nina for posterity, and giving tours of the ship on weekends for a small donation. Those that were able to take the tours were given a history of the original ship, its voyages, and its initial encounter with North America. Following Harvey, and the aftermath of cleanup, the fate of this replica has yet to be determined.