• Wanderbird Sinks In Germany

    photo ©Daniel Beneke

    The Daily Mail's Milly Vincent Reports

    A collision between a vintage sailing ship and a container vessel in Germany injured five and sunk the wooden ship which had just been restored at a cost of £1.3million one week before.

    The 43 passengers and crew aboard the 'No 5 Elbe' were rescued after it was crashed into by the Cyprus-flagged container ship Astrosprinter on the Elbe River at Stade near Hamburg at around 12.30pm Saturday.

    The 121 ft long pilot schooner, built in 1883, was Hamburg's oldest and last remaining seagoing ship from the era of wooden ships and could be rented for harbour excursions.

    It had just been renovated over eight months in a Danish shipyard where it received new outer wooden planks and a new stern, the DPA news agency said.

    Cyprus-flagged 460 ft long container ship Astrosprinter was believed to have been making its way downstream from Hamburg, to the North sea.

    Motor rescue boats of the Deutsche Lebens-Rettungs-Gesellschaft Stade, the German Life Saving Society (DLRG), the fire brigade and DLRG Wedel were attending an incident nearby and quickly attended the collision site.

    After rescuing 43 crew members from the 'No 5 Elbe' specialist pumps were brought in to attempt to remove the water, however as water flooded in the efforts had to be abandoned.

    The 37-metre-long gaff schooner, which first set sail from the HC Stuelcken shipyard in Hamburg in 1883, is the northern German city's last remaining ship from the wooden shipbuilding era.

    The Gaffelschoner (type of sail boat) is Hamburg's last remaining sea ship from the era of wooden shipbuilding which was built in 1883 at the shipyard of German ship builders H. C. Stülcken Sohn.

    It was built for rough seas and rounded Cape Horn, the southernmost tip of South America, in its lifetime.

    In 2002, the Hamburg Maritime Foundation acquired the ship in Seattle and brought it back to Hamburg.

    Since 2007, the No.5 Elbe has cruised the Elbe river with tourists and others interested in its historical significance.


    The sailing monument was restored in Denmark. On Wednesday evening, the schooner returned to the Hanseatic city.

    Hamburg. A bright white fuselage, masts trimmed aft and 360 square meters of sail area - magnificent as long as no longer is the Pilot's Lifeguard "No. 5 Elbe "arrived at Sandtorhafen on Wednesday evening.

    Members of the Association "Friends of the Pilot's Pilot No. 5 Elbe received the sailor enthusiastically and will start their first guest rides again on the weekend: For eight months, Hamburg's last surviving wooden ship was restored at the Danish shipyard Hvide Sande Shipyard on the North Sea.

    Approximately 1.5 million euros has cost the restoration of the 37-meter-long ship, 300,000 euros took over the citizenship and 30,000 euros the Denkmalschutzamt. The rest was donated by three sponsors and the Hamburg Maritim Foundation. You belong to the 1883 piloted at the Stülcken shipyard on Steinwerder pilots pilot, who comes from a fleet of eleven ships that were built in the late 19th century and were considered to be extremely seaworthy because of their construction of oak. The foundation had the "No. 5 Elbe "bought in 2002 by an antique dealer in Seattle for 800,000 euros and brought back to their hometown of Hamburg.

    First correct overhaul
    For the pilot-saver, who sailed for more than 130 years in the mouth of the Elbe, in the North Sea and on the Atlantic, it was the first complete overhaul. "The restoration of a wooden ship of this size is not possible in any German shipyard," says Alexandre Poirier, shipbuilding engineer at the Hamburg Maritime Foundation.
    In the Danish shipyard, which specializes in wooden shipbuilding, the rig and masts were dismantled before the pilot's apron could be slipped and brought into a hall. Then the damage began: the copper plates in the underwater area and the rudder were removed. In the subsequent assessment, the shipyard employees noticed from the outside strong moisture on the planks. After removing 800 lead ingots from the floor area, which caused 50 kg of ballast, it became clear: many of the 100 wooden frames had to be replaced.

    Adventurer circling Cape Horn
    To insert the new, five-meter-long and five-meter-long oak frames a deck crane was necessary, which transported them to the ship and let in between the scaffold and frame on the ship. When the last damaged bulkhead was replaced in mid-February, a milestone had been reached, as the core mission of the project was "100 frames for 'No.5 Elbe'". Another important construction phase was the exchange of the keel. For this purpose, the 24-meter-long keel beam was sawn up and replaced with two 12-meter-long beams.

    The "No. 5 Elbe "was purchased by adventurer Warwick Tompkins after their retirement in the 1920s. This called her "Wanderbird" and circumnavigated with her in 1936 even Cape Horn. Now the traditional ship is only on the Elbe on the way - and takes on its trips also guests on board (www.lotsenschoner.de/das-schiff).

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