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Thread: Wanderbird Sinks In Germany

  1. #1
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Wanderbird Sinks In Germany

    imageİDaniel 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 (
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  2. #2
    Damn shame, but I bet they can fix her up again!

  3. #3
    She lies in shallow water, so maybe damage is such that this is just another chapter in her storied past!

  4. #4
    Headed Offshore
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    In the early 1960s we lived in Pacifica across the street from a Red Stack tugboat engineer. I was a M.A. Film Major at SFSC and thought a documentary on S.F. Bay tugs would be interesting. Walt invited me to come tugging and Harold Sommers was the captain. I'd go to work with Walt and film. The boats were wooden ex-Navy tugs with accommodations for a full Navy crew, so each Red Stacker had his own cabin en suite. The project got exed by my major advisor who wasn't interested in documentaries, so I stopped. Later in the 1970s when I started sailing on SF Bay one of my crew was a woman who it turns out was volunteering on Harold Sommers' Wanderbird, sailing a little, but mostly working on the restoration. I was invited, re-met Harold, and spent some time sanding and varnishing. I did sail a couple of times, but mostly it was sanding and varnishing. Although Wanderbird was not a yacht, Harold was very particular about sanding and varnishing and I learned all about thinning and tipping up close and personal. What happened is sad. I hope there's a chance to salvage and rebuild. I'm a little too old for sanding and varnishing, but I hope there are younger volunteers to do that if and when the time comes. Pat B.

  5. #5
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Some new video today from on board the Elbe No. 5 shows the moments just prior to the historic schooner’s collision with a containership on the Elbe River near Hamburg last week.

    As we reported, the Elbe No. 5 partially sank after it collided with the 150-meter container ship Astrosprinter near Hamburg last Saturday afternoon. Nine injuries were reported among the 43 people on board the vessel.

    In the video, you can see someone aboard the schooner give five short blasts of the horn as the containership closes in in the distance. Later someone seems to yell something which sounds like “hard to port”. The video cuts out before the collision, but we know how it ended...
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  6. #6
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Wanderbird Floats Again!

    No. 5 Elbe" again on the surface
    Nocturnal success for the salvage mission of the monument ship "No. 5 Elbe" in the swing mouth:
    Since about 1 o'clock the sunken 135-year-old ship is again at the water surface.

    Translated from

    Air bags brought it up
    At the weekend, divers of a Spanish specialist company had already covered the leak and secured sling belts with air bags under the hull.
    The first lift attempt then started on Sunday evening at 23 o'clock with the low water. Strong pumps filled the airbags with compressed air
    and the torso of the stricken yachtsman slowly straightened up. At the same time, water was pumped out of the ship.
    The running water finally brought the ship to float successfully.

    The ship is now located at the harbor bung wall in the swing mouth. It is still unclear whether the pilot can be towed on the air cushion to
    Hamburg or whether he must first be fetched by floating crane. The time is not yet clear.

    Fatal maneuver on board the pilot saver
    The pilot had collided with a container ship on June 8 at the edge of the city sand on the Elbe . He was on a guest ride and had
    43 passengers on board. The ship sank and is currently in the mouth of the swing in the Elbe. Eight people were injured in the
    collision of the "No. 5 Elbe" with the container ship "Astrosprinter". After a short while they were able to leave the hospital.
    Video footage shows the moment shortly before the collision. Evaluations suggest that an error on board the historic ship led to the accident.

    Salvaged navigation device
    The expert of the Federal Bureau of Maritime Casualty Investigation, Ferenc John, told the German Press Agency
    that it had managed to retrieve the navigation device. One hopes that it saved the positions and these data are still readable.
    Also a so-called automatic identification system was ensured, with which ships transmit their positions over VHF frequencies.

    The pilot had just been extensively renovated for around 1.5 million euros and returned to Hamburg at the end of May .
    He has a very moving and moving story. Built in 1883 at the Stülcken shipyard in Hamburg, the ship served several
    decades to bring pilots in the North Sea aboard the incoming ships - and back again. After being decommissioned,
    the No. 5 Elbe was sold to the United States in the 1920s and served as a floating home for author and adventurer
    Warwick Tompkins and his family. Since 2002, the pilot was back in Germany and took on day trips also guests on board.
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  7. #7
    Praise the lord and pass the airbags!

  8. #8
    Yeah--- Hard to port. It seems falling off, to port might have saved them. Did someone misunderstand the message and push the tiller hard to port in error? Seems like that just put the boat directly in the path of the container ship.
    It also looked like the container ship was turning to their port trying to avoid the Elbe. Might have been an illusion caused by the camera being on a moving platform...

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