"She sank fast, but she is a survivor." So says Kim Mrazek, president of the group that maintains the La Niña, a replica of Christopher Columbus' ship that was made in Spain but has called Corpus Christi, Texas, home since 1992, per CNN. The vessel took on water early Tuesday—Mrazek thinks a rusty nail may have caused a board to come loose, causing the leak—and sank to the bottom of the marina where it was docked, and divers are now assessing if the ship can be retrieved and restored. It's not the first time La Niña has met a watery demise: Its water pumps weren't able to function when Hurricane Harvey slammed into the area in 2017, cutting off electricity and leading the ship to partially sink.
It took the caretaking group three months back then to pull together about $20,000 to drag the ship back to the surface and restore her, per the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. La Niña's sister ships, La Pinta and La Santa Maria, were destroyed in 2014 after it was decided they'd be too costly to fix up. All three of the ships had been built in the late 1980s, notes KIII-TV. Mrazek is hopeful La Niña isn't about to meet the same fate as its erstwhile siblings. "I believe in this little ship," she tells the Caller-Times. "She is going to survive another 50 years." (Read more Christopher Columbus stories.)