Fire broke out on the historic clipper ship Cutty Sark at 4.45 AM GMT (12:45 AM EST) Monday morning. By 6:28 AM GMT (2:28 AM EST) the fire had been put out by the London Fire Brigade. Nonetheless, the ship was all but destroyed. Arson is suspected.
The Cutty Sark was the centerpiece of harbor redevelopment in Greenwich, England. Fortunately, much of the rigging, flooring, and hardware from the ship had been removed as part of an ongoing restoration projected to cost 25 million pounds. Now an additional 10 million or more will have to be raised to begin building her from the ground up in dry dock.
In a moving memoir, journalist Ceri Radford fondly recalls how the Cutty Sark attracted her to make Greenwich her home. Over 120 readers have left comments bemoaning her fate on the Cutty Sark website. We should all join them if we treasure objects of maritime history.