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Big yacht grounded by sinkhole

MAY 8 — A 300-ton $27 million yacht proved to be too much for a stretch of a two-lane road Thursday in Vancouver, Wash.

The yacht, which was being transported to a boat launch on the Columbia River, sank into a sinkhole in the road, news reports say. The affected portion of the road had reportedly been softened by a broken water pipe.

A number of employees from Christensen Shipyards near Marine Park spent several hours attempting to place steel plates over the soft spot in the road while others used a tractor to move the massive yacht back and forth, according to reports. A number of people gathered at the scene to watch the effort.

“They know what they’re doing,” one spectator says in a report. “It’s not something they normally do, but I know they lift these ships and put them down all the time, so they know what they’re doing.”

The 157-foot yacht, called the Barchetta, was not damaged in the incident, reports say. Once the boat was removed from the sinkhole its owners reportedly hoped to get it into the water and put it through its paces over two weeks of sea trials.

— Jason Fell