Tall Ship Providence Blown Over in Blizzard Winds

Photo: Rocky Steeves

Photo: Rocky Steeves

The sloop Providence, a 1976 built replica of the Continental Navy sloop of the same name, was blown off her jack stands while on shore at Newport Shipyard in Newport, Rhode Island on Tuesday in blizzard conditions.  The ship was dis-masted and suffered hull damage when she fell over in winds reported to be gusting up to 60 mph. Thorpe Leeson, the sloop’s owner, told the Associated Press that extra supports were added beneath the ship as a precaution for the storm, but they failed in the high winds.

The Providence is a replica of a Continental Navy sloop built in 1775 and which was commanded by Abraham Whipple, John Paul Jones and John Rathbun, among others.   The Providence sank or captured 40 British ships during the war.  The replica Providence is 61′ long on deck and 110′ long overall and has a fiberglass hull.  She has appeared in a variety of roles in several movies including two of the Pirates of the Caribbean films.

A video of the ship in happier days.

Thanks to Juan Corradi and Robert Kennedy for contributing to this post.

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3 Responses to Tall Ship Providence Blown Over in Blizzard Winds

  1. Phil says:

    What was that to hit the east coast again?

    Ohio 1978 Blizzard

    Drifts 15 to 25 feet, covering homes, collapsing roofs, trees and powerlines down and it was not Climate Change or Global Hogwash we have today.

    It Hit!

    Storm ravages Ohio

  2. Thorpe Leeson owns the sloop not the shipyard. The yard is owned by the Charles Dana family and managed by Eli Dana.

    As for Abraham Whipple, we should ever remember him as the co-leader of the Colonial Rhode Island band that burned the small British naval vessel Gaspee in 1772.

    A few years later captain (later ‘Sir’) James Wallace of HMS Rose sent him a note saying (roughly), “You Abraham Whipple burned His Majesty’s Ship Gaspee and for this I shall hang you from the yardarm.”

    Whipple’s reply was laconic, bold and succinct, “Sir, Always catch a man before you hang him.’ He was never caught.

  3. Rick Spilman says:


    Thanks for the correction on the owner of the sloop. I’ve fixed it.

    I agree. Abraham Whipple is a fascinating figure, not well known outside Rhode Island. He was arguably a much more able captain than John Paul Jones, who took over the command of the Providence.