Historic schooner run down on the Elbe

Luckily no one killed!

Apologies that it is one of the worst UK newspapers, but the photo says everything.

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Looking at that photo, I daresay it’s literally incredible.

As always, one has to wonder how, but it looks pretty clear that serious mistakes were made on the schooner. I love how the Germans keep their historic vessels, in good shape but not as cute as the Dutch. However, I’ve seen one or two German tall ships handled with less than absolute aplomb.

The sunken ship was the 136 year old historic pilot schooner ‘No 5. Elbe’. There are press reports that state that the cause of the collision was a failed tack which brought the schooner in the path of the container ship Astrosprinter which at that moment was sailing in the fairway. Making a tack with all these sails is a tricky job to be handled by a skilled crew only. They sure were lucky not be be overrun entirely by the container ship.

The Astrosprinter got in view of the investigation a sailing prohibition and is now anchored at the Brunsbüttel Nordo anchorage.

Maybe not as bad as it looks, the ship’s bow wave might have pushed it away to some extent

image .



I once came within literal inches of hitting land after a messed up tack. My mistake then was not so much hourglassing the genoa, as it was trying to recover the chart lost over board in a 50m wide channel with traffic present, without lowering sails and starting the engine.

Just sayin’


That’s me at the helm in the North Sea with a glass of white water. @Klaveness knows…

Don’t remind me, I too did some crazy things in my younger days. Drinking and driving in a car is not advisable but on board a sailboat it was not thought of as especially bad practice…



I think you are right about that. This photo was taken a little bit earlier then the others. It shows that the schooner hit the Astrosprinter much more forward then I previously thought. The bow wave and the pressure cushion effect helped somewhat to turn away the bow. It is a wooden ship and I suppose that the impact cracked the hull causing forward flooding.