Since 1992, a replica of La Niña – 1/3 of the ships that Christopher Columbus used to sail from Europe – has sat at a marina in Corpus Christi. As of early Tuesday, however, the ship has been partially submerged.
Despite the fact that Columbus never stepped foot in North America, there are plenty of tributes to him throughout the country. While he’s been portrayed as this heroic figure, Columbus was a fuckboy. He landed in Hispaniola – an area that people with their own culture, language, and traditions already inhabited – which made way for the colonization of the Americas. In recent years, cities have stopped celebrating Columbus Day – which incorrectly celebrates the colonizers instead of the Indigenous people who existed before 1492 – and there’s been growing pressure to remove Columbus statues as well.
The ship was part of a present from Spain, which also included replicas of La Pinta and La Santa Maria, celebrating the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ first voyage. La Pinta and La Santa Maria are no longer around. The city reportedly demolished them in 2014 because they were too costly to repair, according to KRISTV.
The city of Corpus Christi – which owns the 75-foot long, 20-foot wide boat – will have divers evaluate the damage, though Kim Mrazek, president of the Columbus Sailing Association who helps take care of the ship, believes it could be a rusty nail that made a board come loose.
It’s not the first time La Niña has sunk. After Hurricane Harvey in 2017, the ship sank because its water pumps were turned off. “She stayed that way for three months until we had the funds to bring her back up,” Mrazek said, according to CNN.
It was just a few weeks ago that the city was taking applications to transfer the ownership of the boat to a new organization. But perhaps with recent events, the city could make a statement and not try to save it because we certainly won’t miss it.