Pride of Baltimore ship makes its return to Inner Harbor after Key Bridge collapse

Pride of Baltimore ship makes its return to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

The Pride of Baltimore II, a replica of a 19th century “Baltimore clipper,” has finally returned to its home dock in Baltimore. The ship had been anchored in Annapolis when the collapse of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge left it unable to return home.

On Monday, as most people were looking up at the partial solar eclipse, the ship’s crew was given the green light to sail the vessel through one of the alternate channels created to get ships through the wreckage.

“The pictures we’ve seen don’t do a good job of indicating the damage, but seeing it firsthand makes one very, very thoughtful,” Capt. Jan Miles said of the collapsed bridge.

He said the experience of sailing next to the crashed container ship was very thought-provoking for the boat’s crew.

“You don’t hear much at all. You’re just seeing the mass of the problem, the crushed bow and all that gear around it,” Miles said.

Miles said he began planning for the ship’s return days before and his crew was in radio communication with those controlling the access through the site throughout the process.

“They said, ‘Yes, Pride of Baltimore, you’re clear to come ahead,’ and advised us to the fact they had some divers working in certain areas and to be mindful of that,” Miles said.

Miles said returning to the ship’s home port in the Inner Harbor means necessary maintenance can now take place and the ship can get back to some of its already scheduled events. That includes deck tours at the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine this weekend.

“There’s still some fallout to be had, I think on our overall schedule. But all in all, we think … us getting home is for the best and we’re able to do some really fun things,” said Patrick Smith, program coordinator for the Pride of Baltimore.

Smith said the team behind the boat is thankful for the city of Annapolis, which offered the ship a place to stay after the disaster. Smith also said they are grateful for the hard work of all those involved in the recovery mission.

“It’s almost bittersweet to be returning to Baltimore, recognizing the gravity of the situation, but we’re extremely grateful to be able to get … to our home port of Baltimore,” Smith said.

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Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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