NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — By now the Spirit of Norfolk is beyond saving. All that remains of the ship is a burnt shell.
For three decades, the Spirit of Norfolk hosted thousands of events–including weddings.
The boat’s all-inclusive wedding package sold Katie Burgoyne and her fiancé Alex Maness on the venue.
“Everything was taken care of so that was really a big incentive for us,” Burgoyne explained.
Burgoyne, who is a teacher for York County Schools, was outside for Field Day Tuesday when her phone started blowing up with pictures and videos of the Spirit of Norfolk. Her wedding venue was on fire.
“I kept telling everybody I’m not going to panic until I know what’s going on. I kept thinking as long as it doesn’t sink we’ll be O.K,” Burgoyne told 10 On Your Side in a Zoom call with Maness and her daughter Audrey by her side.
Burgoyne and Maness met online during the pandemic and had an instant connection.
“He’s my calming partner so he was like it’s just a small fire. Looks like it’ll be O.K,” Burgoyne stated.
Their wedding is six months away.
“Last night it was like ‘oh the whole bottom is on fire, but it’s at the Naval Yard so what’s the worst that can happen?’ Then this morning, there’s no windows left. The entire outside of the boat is a metal shell,” Maness recalled.
The couple told us positivity and humor are getting them through the unfortunate event.
“Of course, we were just thankful everyone that was on there, especially those children, they got off, everybody was safe, they were able to tow it away from a public area. My family’s a bunch of jokesters so they’re like ‘just slap a new coat of paint on it, it’ll be ready to go’,” Burgoyne said.
The yacht spent most of Tuesday on fire, slowly burning itself out. A news conference on the status of the yacht is expected to be held Wednesday morning.
Check WAVY.com for the latest updates.