sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : German tall ship mutiny after cadet's death fall

German tall ship mutiny after cadet's death fall

'Gorch Fock in action'    .

Life on a tall ship is meant to be an adventure, but after a female recruit called Sarah Schmidt, 25, was killed when she fell 100 feet from the foremast, the rest of the cadets had had enough, and they mutinied against the captain.

It happened in Brazil in November, on Germany's most famous sailing ship, the Gorch Fock, and has caused serious embarrassment to military chiefs in Germany.


The elegant tall ship, named after the German poet Gorch Fock who died in a 1916 sea battle, was on a round-the-world sailing trip when the incident occurred, but as a result of the mutiny the journey was forced to be cut short. The ship was launched in 1958 and for over 50 years has been a familiar sight in ports around the world, but since the mutiny the Captain has been relieved of his command and the ship taken out of service.

At a parliamentary committee hearing on the incident, Hellmut Königshaus, the Commissioner for the Armed Forces of the Bundestag told the committee, 'What followed was, simply, a mutiny.'

Officials said the sailors did not want to continue their voyage after the tragedy in the harbour of Salvador de Bahia in Brazil, and refused to get back in the rigging for exercises.

Captain Norbert Schatz with his mutinous cadets -  .. .  
Norbert Schatz, the captain of the ship, cabled back to Germany that he was in a 'Captain Bligh' situation – a reference to the famous Mutiny on the Bounty of 1879 when sailors on a British warship overpowered their cruel captain, William Bligh, and cast him adrift in an open boat.

Captain Schatz said: '[I am faced with] indiscipline and a refusal to carry out orders. They [the cadets] display a lack of co-operation with the ship’s command and are guilty of mutiny and inciting the crew.'

In the end four were flown back to Germany – but it was not the end.

The other 66 trainee officers were also refusing to sail on and in the end all of them had to be put on a plane back to Germany in the most embarrassing incident of a breach of military discipline for the republic since it was formed in 1949.

He was described by the cadets as being insensitive, a hard taskmaster and indifferent to the death of the young woman. According to the cadets, rather than enjoying the romance of the Age of Sail, they had to endure seasickness, cold, the terrors of climbing high masts on a heaving ship and irregular sleep in order to learn the Navy's brand of spirit.

Cadets huddled on the deck -  .. .  
They say they were pressured to get back up the mast from which their colleague fell to her death and refused to do so.
But Captain Schatz accused the recruits in turn of being too soft.

In a letter to military chiefs probing the mutiny, he said: 'As a boy I climbed cherry trees in the garden of my neighbour and was also able to get down quickly if he came home. 'But the motor-coordination skills of today`s youth are questionable because they sit for too long in front of computers all day instead of climbing cherry trees.'

Mr Königshaus wrote that many of the officer cadets 'did not want to go aloft after the painful loss of their comrade and others did not want to continue on the Gorch Fock.'

The letter continued that there had been 'great pressure' on cadets to climb the rigging. 'If you don’t go up, you’ll fly home the next day,' an instructor is supposed to have told them.

The barque has a crew of 85 training officers and able seamen who teach intakes of up to 138 cadets at a time. Down the years it has trained 14,500 cadets. Many remember it as harsh, while others have told reporters they found it an adventure.

The vessel, 89 metres long and with a mainmast and foremast 45.3 metres above the water, has a diesel engine that can push it to 12 knots. Under sail it has exceeded 18 knots. Cadets sleep in hammocks stacked high in a single room.

The oldest ship in the German Navy, it has continually taken part in Tall Ships races and sailing parades round the globe during goodwill visits, but her future is now uncertain...




by Sail-World Cruising round-up

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=79520

10:00 PM Sun 23 Jan 2011 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


News - USA and the World





















A complete recap of the most successful Melges 20 World Championship by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,




ISAF Santander - Upwards path for Austrian women's 470 crew + video by Luissa Smith, International 470 Class Association,


























2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Farr 40 Day 4 by William Wagner, San Francisco
















ISAF Sailing World Championships - Solid Day 3 for US Sailing Team
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Day 3 images by Jesus Renedo
Marseille One Design 2014 - GC32 Armin Strom blitzes final day
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Una Etapa 0 complicada para todos
Santander 49ers: Olympic Gold Medallist says two into 90 does not go!! *Feature
GBR aiming for first ever Nacra 17 Games berth at Santander Worlds
Volvo Ocean Race: Man and sail overboard as Leg 0 serves up drama
ISAF Sailing World Championships Santander 2014 – Images by Dan Ibsen
Santander Worlds – already a spectator success
ISAF Sailing World Championships Santander 2014 - Day 3 morning report
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Tales from the extreme
Volvo Ocean Race: Latest starter wins opening race
2014 J/70 World Championship - Healy, Abdullah, Becker and Borges win
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Full-blown, once again
ISAF Worlds - Americans jump up Laser and Laser Radial leaderboard
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Farr 40 Day 3
America's Cup: Luna Rossa sailing with two foiling AC45's + Video
Extreme Sailing: Emirates Team NZ retain second overall
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Rio Olympic Laser spots snapped up
Rolex Swan Cup - All set for final showdown
Upper Midwest sailors need help to take it to the next level   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - RS:X action begins in Santander   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Americans rise in Laser and Radial   
Extreme Sailing Series - A remarkable penultimate day’s racing + Video   
Marseille One Design - GC32 GDF Suez unstoppable in the light   
Rolex Swan Cup - Day 3 images by Carlo Borlenghi   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Images of the leaders in Santander   
Rolex Big Boat Series - Good day for Double Trouble   
Rolex Big Boat Series - Day 2 images by Erik Simonson   
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - TP52 fleet ready for tricky race tracks   
Rolex Big Boat Series - Plenty maintains lead   
2014 Asia Pacific Student Cup - Count down begins   
Extreme Sailing Series: Live coverage of Day 3 - view here   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Going away   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Practice makes perfect   
2014 J/70 World Championship - Contrasting conditions on Day 4   
Rolex Big Boat Series - 50 years of big boat racing: a retrospective   
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Day 2   
Snipe Western Hemisphere and Orient Champ: Rios takes the Championship   
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg Zero signals start of the significant racing   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT