CAMBRDIGE (CBS) – A Harvard University boathouse is sinking into the Charles River.

It’s a two story wood structure built on top of a steel barge and it is sinking into the Charles with a lot of people trying to figure out what to do.

“The whole building is actually meant to float, so there’s no structural support underneath it,” said Colin Santangelo.

A Harvard University boathouse is sinking into the Charles River. (WBZ-TV)

But the barge has sprung a leak and is leaning into the river. There are boats hanging from the ceiling inside and a lot of equipment.

Colin Santangelo used to sail here when he was a student.

“There’s locker rooms with sailing gear, life jackets all of that,” said Santangelo. “I’m guessing that all of that is going to be pretty damaged.”

Crews towed boats out of harm’s way as the Harvard Sailing Club’s boathouse takes on water next to Memorial Drive in Cambridge. (WBZ-TV)

Harvard sailing coaches saved the boats that were docked outside the boathouse, towing them further down the river to the MIT sailing facility.

Some say the sailing center, built back in 1971, has survived past its useful life. There have been leaks before but not like this. They’re exploring whether the water can be pumped out so the building is upright again allowing repairs to be made.

If the sailing center can’t be rescued, they may be forced to dismantle the building and tow away the barge. They’re not sure what caused the leak, perhaps it’s due to the age of the structure but the future of the center is in doubt.


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