Blizzard conditions damage tall ship in R.I.

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A Revolutionary War replica tall ship was toppled by strong wind gusts during the snowstorm that pounded Rhode Island and the rest of the Northeast.

Thorpe Leeson, owner and captain of the Continental Sloop Providence, told the Associated Press that the 110-foot ship was extensively damaged when it fell on its side overnight at the Newport Shipyard. It was stored there for the winter.

Leeson said the mast is broken and the hull is punctured. Extra supports had been added as a precaution, but they couldn't sustain the heavy winds.

Leeson vowed that the ship will "come back to life." He expects that insurance will cover the damage, and he plans to get the ship in the water by the end of the summer.

The replica of the USS Providence is the state flagship and its tall ship ambassador.


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