Remembering the Pride of Baltimore
30 years ago Saturday a schooner known as the Pride of Baltimore sank in a storm 240 miles north of Puerto Rico. Four crew members died, including the ship’s captain. The remaining eight survived after floating on a leaky raft for five days until they were rescued by a Norwegian tanker. The ship had been built for the nation’s bicentennial and was constructed from wood, by hand, right on the Inner Harbor. For a city in a time of economic depression, the ship evoked the days of Baltimore’s primacy of the seas. Though questions would be raised later about whether a boar built to historical accuracy should have sailed across the ocean, the Pride of Baltimore traveled around the world as the city’s goodwill ambassador until a sudden, terrible storm brought it down. The news of its sinking shocked and saddened Baltimoreans, including then-Mayor William Schaefer, who was pictured with his hand over his eyes, “a study in grief” as The Sun caption read.