A Brazilian Navy training sailship Monday ran into a mobile pedestrian bridge across the Guayas River, in Guayaquil, Ecuador and nearly sank while performing training manoeuvres.
The Cisne Branco was dragged out of the scene by an Ecuadorian vessel that ended up at the bottom of the river, it was reported.
Nobody was injured in the incident.
Pictures of the incident went viral showing the mast and ratchet of the Brazilian vessel severely damaged.
The Ecuadorian Navy reported in a statement that during the undocking manoeuvre the tugboat Altar had sunk while trying to help the Cisne Branco.
Port Captain Danilo Espinoza said in the same statement that there are no human victims or injuries and that the respective administrative summary will be opened for the corresponding investigation into this maritime accident.
The incident occurred in the early hours of Monday on the pedestrian bridge that connects the city of Guayaquil with Santay Island. At that moment, the sailboat was leaving the port accompanied by a tugboat and was pushed by the current until it hit that structure. After the event, the Ecuadorian Navy activated the corresponding emergency protocols and provided the necessary assistance to the units involved, it was reported.
The Cisne Branco was then taken to the local Yacht Club for further review. Regarding the causes of the accident, according to preliminary data released through local media, the Brazilian vessel is said to have suffered some sort of technical malfunction due to which she lost control and was swept away by the current.
According to the local newspaper El Universo, since 2017 there have been at least three accidents in the same area. In the first, a 145-meter section collapsed, while in mid-2018, another incident occurred on the bridge that connects Durán with the island.
Also according to El Universo, the Cisne Branco tried to avoid the impact but was dragged by the current.
Guayaquil locals were quick to post on social media those pedestrian bridges in the area were a serious threat to sailing.
The Cisne Branco had planned to sail on to other countries which will participate in the Sails Latin America 2022 regatta, it was reported.