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Avast ye swabs, the town of Dana Point, California held its 28th annual tall ships festival last weekend. As they like to say in the OC, it’s a chance to “explore the majesty and wonder of tall ships through the smells, sounds and sights of real working tall ships.” But the only real wonder after the weekend’s festivities (which included a mock sea battle) was that no one was killed . . .

Someone aboard the Amazing Grace forgot to load one of the ship’s long nines with the fake stuff. From

The festival included the ships firing blanks from cannons at each other, but somehow The Amazing Grace, a tall ship based in Gig Harbor, Wash., fired real buckshot at the vessel Bill of Rights.

The women onboard, identified as Bill of Rights deckhand Donna Reed and volunteer Laura Huber, were struck with multiple pellets and left with minor injuries. It’s not clear how the buckshot ended up getting loaded into the cannon.

It may not be clear to ABC, but explains how the mishap likely happened. Kinda.

The Amazing Grace and the Bill of Rights were using small “shotgun” cannons about the size of a small toolbox. Reed, a longtime tall-ship sailor, said the cannons’ blank charges, made by Winchester, look like common shotgun shells and that one could easily be mistaken for the other.

No word as to whether the Amazing Grace’s master gunner is to be keel hauled for the nearly mortal mixup. The two deckhands must be thanking their lucky stars the Grace’s guns weren’t launching grape shot or they could have found out what it’s like down in Davey Jones’s locker.

We don’t know if any grog was involved at all, but it’s the cap’n who’s responsible for everything aboard his ship, and we considered introducing him to a cat o’ nine tails. Instead, since the injuries were minor, we’ll be sending him our IGOTD trophy. We just hope the scurvy dog doesn’t fire that at a passing ship, too.

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  1. Buckshot!? Where’s the grape and canister, matey? You call that a cannon? That ain’t no cannon!! THIS is a cannon! [Fires off his South Bend Replicas 6-pounder.]

  2. I hope their shotgun cannons have smaller than 10 round magazines, and no shoulder things that go up, or else they can expect a visit from the law dogs!

  3. Kalifornia probably requires a permit to load your ships cannon with projectiles, expect a visit from the law.

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