Coast Guard Station Castle Hill is providing a safety zone in Newport Harbor after the Tall Ship SSV Oliver Hazard Perry lost power and hit multiple other boats before grounding near Perrotti Park on Sunday evening, according to a press release from Coast Guard Station Castle Hill.

The SSV Oliver Hazard Perry, an educational tall ship homeported in Newport, was leaving Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival with 12 crewmembers aboard when it lost power and began to drift.

A 911 dispatcher alerted Coast Guard watchstanders to the incident at about 6:15 p.m.

Two response boat crews from Station Castle Hill immediately deployed to the scene, where personnel from the Narragansett Bay Task Force are also helping with the response. There are no reported injuries or pollution.

The incident is under investigation.

The following press release was issued by Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island at 7:30 pm on Monday, October 16th;

Tall Ship Oliver Hazard Perry is now safely docked at her berth at Fort Adams. Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island would like to thank the Newport Harbor Master, Old Port Marine Services, the Newport Fire Department, and the U.S. Coast Guard for their swift assistance last night as well as Mitchell Towing, Tug Jaguar and Tug Hawk for this afternoon’s relocation, which went according to plan.

We appreciate the aid and expertise of many more and the support we have received from all of our supporters.

The following press release was issued by Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island at 12:45 pm on Monday, October 16th;

This afternoon, Tall Ship Oliver Hazard Perry will return to its permanent berth at Fort Adams, its intended destination last night. A diver has cleared the propellers, and both engines are operational.

In accordance with U.S. Coast Guard requirements, Tug Jaguar from Mitchell Towing in Fairhaven, Mass. will assist with the move while two other tug boats will be on standby for assistance.

The relocation process will begin when the tug boats arrive at approximately 3 p.m.

The four affected vessels are currently being assessed, and owners/captains have been contacted.

With its next programs scheduled for January, Perry will undergo U.S. Coast Guard-required sea trials later this week to ensure the ongoing safety of the ship and crew. All of Perry’s 2018 voyages and plans for festival participation are expected to continue as scheduled.

Updates will be issued as more information is made available.

The following press release was issued by Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island at 9:40 am on Monday, October 16th;

At approximately 6:15 p.m. on Sunday, October 15, while the Tall Ship Oliver Hazard Perry was leaving the Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival, its two propellers became entangled by a dock line, resulting in the loss of engine power. Thanks to the quick actions of the captain, crew, the Newport Harbor Master, Oldport Marine, and the U.S. Coast Guard, the ship was safely secured to the docks at Newport Harbor Hotel and Newport Yacht Club in the northeast corner of Newport Harbor.

During the incident, the ship did not run aground; however, it came in contact with four boats docked in Newport Harbor. There were no injuries, and minimal damage occurred.

In conjunction with the U.S. Coast Guard, OHPRI staff and crew are continuing to assess the situation for moving the ship safely as soon as possible.

Updates will be issued as more information is made available.

The incident has had an impact on the plans of two cruise ships and thousands of passengers.

Passengers from the Seven Seas Mariner (Cap. 700 passengers, 445 crew) and the Crown Princess (Cap. 3,080 passengers, 1,201 crew) were scheduled to arrive in Newport via tender at Perrotti Park, access to that area has been blocked by the Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island since Sunday night.

“The first ship has already departed and the second ship is still in the anchorage. It is highly unlikely that they will be able to disembark any passengers,” says Harbormaster Tim Mills.

This story will be updated as more information is received.

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Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.