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Thread: Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

  1. #1
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    Default Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    Looks like the pilot schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD ex-ELBE 5 was struck by a container ship on the river Elbe and sunk. Nobody killed, 5 injured, 1 seriously.

    She was built as a pilot boat in Hamburg in 1883. Famous life here on the west coast as WANDER BIRD. Wonderful ship.

    She had just come out of the yard after a EUR 1.5m refit. Apparently, the container ship was out of her channel and likely at fault.

    https://www.dw.com/en/historic-sailb...urg/a-49116722

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/4592...501386?sfns=mo





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    Default Re: Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    Yes, our hearts bleeds today. She was one of our finest.

    Just a month back from a complete 8 month overhaul, too. Which might just have been part of her demise. According to the local newspaper Tageblatt quoting the Coast Guard: MV Astrosprinter was steaming down the fairway, Elbe No.5 likely missed stays and sailed right across her bow.

    Those electricity pylons are 2.5 miles upriver from Stadersand, where Elbe 5 sank subsequently. The red buoy is likely Elbe 110. THe river is about 7 cables (1200m) wide there, the fairway hugs the northern bank and is 2.4 cables wide, or about 450m.


    Wind was SSW F5, with gusts of F7. Judging by the photo, Elbe 5 was trying to stay out of the fairway to the north where there is very little room. They were just back on the water after 8 months on the hard and missed stays in a challenging situation where there was no room for error.

    Be that as it may, she was almost immediatley towed to shore by rescue craft from the german lifeguards and a local fire fighting brigade that were in the vicinity from a previous mission. 43 on board, 8 wounded, no casualties. How badly she's damaged and if she can be saved, we'll learn next week.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    Glad all lived. Hope she can be rebuilt.

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    Default Re: Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    Hopefully the insurance companies help to preserve the vessel immediately and don't stand in the way or declare the vessel a total loss.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    Both gone now...


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    Default Re: Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    Thank you Moritz for such a good and clear account and explanation.

    At at least nobody was killed.

    I confidently expect the ELBE 5 to be back with us.
    She is just too famous not to be, after all the care spent on getting her home and refitting her.
    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 06-09-2019 at 03:38 PM.
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

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    Default Re: Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    Some of the articles say the Elbe 5 failed a tack causing the collision. My interpretation is that they failed to come about and were in irons sitting in the way of the on coming ship when they were struck.

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    Default Re: Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    wind against current can get tricky sometimes

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    Default Re: Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    I wouldn't want to be either captain in the inquiry.

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    Default Re: Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    On the Wooden Boat FB page, a bunch of armchair admiralty lawyers are screaming back and forth at each other on who's to blame. Let's see what the investigation reveals.
    From the photo of the collision, she wasn't hit directly amidships. Hopefully it was a glancing blow that didn't do too much structural damage. It's still going to cost a ton of money to put her to rights again.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

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    Default Re: Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    It will take real lawyers years to settle the case, which is a huge problem for anyone wishing to conduct the repairs. If the Elbe5 has coverage for collision they could proceed with restoration and let the insurance companies fight it out in court.

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    Default Re: Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    The Norddeutsche Runfunk has some more pictures of the collision and immediate aftermath. Obviously a lot of the rig is shot. It looks to me like they were on port bow, and the fore mast was the first point of impact.
    But I would have imagined the hull to look a lot worse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    On the Wooden Boat FB page, a bunch of armchair admiralty lawyers are screaming back and forth at each other on who's to blame.
    No surprises there. Let's leave that to the professionals who have access to all the information. Namely first hand interviews, plus logs of AIS, VHF and radar. The Elbe is a traffic separation scheme after all. Elbe Traffic Brunsbüttel was watching this in real time.

    For a bigger picture: The owner, Stiftung Hamburg Maritim, is maybe the biggest player in Germany, they own a veritable fleet of historic vessels. They are managing the Peking restoration at the moment, just for reference. If anyone can pull off a second refit with so little time between, I would say it's them.
    Last edited by MoritzSchwarzer; 06-10-2019 at 10:27 AM.

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    Default Re: Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    Looks like they're not wasting any time on the salvage job:

    https://www.ndr.de/nachrichten/hambu...choner172.html

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    Default Re: Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    Link to video on board the schooner minutes before the collision.

    You be the judge. https://youtu.be/aXrTvVh4NOs

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    Default Re: Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    Quote Originally Posted by navydog View Post
    Link to video on board the schooner minutes before the collision.

    You be the judge. https://youtu.be/aXrTvVh4NOs
    Was it too shallow for them to bear away?

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    Default Re: Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    Quote Originally Posted by navydog View Post
    Link to video on board the schooner minutes before the collision.

    You be the judge. https://youtu.be/aXrTvVh4NOs

    Oooh.... doesn't bode well for the schooner crew. Looks like they tried to go for it and f***ed up.
    There's the plan, then there's what actually happens.

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    Default Re: Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    In the end, right of way is matter of tonnage
    Elect a clown expect a circus

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    Default Re: Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    Looks like the crew was incompetent and panicked.

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    Default Re: Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    That video looks bad for the schooner. I kept wanting to push that tiller to starboard the whole time. I wonder why they chose the opposite.

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    Default Re: Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    At first no one was even on the tiller. They had lots of time to bear off to port. Then when collision was imminent they panicked and turned the wrong way. The Captain should be shot( or at least a modern-day equivalent)

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    Default Re: Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    Wow. All those people standing there with everyone's body language screaming I'M NOT SURE WE ARE GOING TO MAKE IT!!!!!!!! For nearly an entire minute. And that freighter must have been visible to everyone aboard for a good five or ten minutes before they got to that point even. How do you get to be in charge of a boat like that without learning to stay out of the way of large, fast moving vessels in a narrow channel? But it doesn't matter who had right of way in the end. Both captains will be found to be at fault. The Elbe 5 skipper put the schooner in a position where a collision could not be avoided through action by one vessel alone, and the skipper of the freighter failed to act in time to avoid the collision. The freighter should have been backing down well before impact.

    Edit: This is a useful comparison.



    In this collision back in 2016 between a yacht and a ferry the yacht is the stand-on vessel but failed to keep a lookout and failed to avoid the collision. The ferry is the give-way vessel and while the skipper sounded a warning and backed down, he did not act in time to avoid the collision. The yacht captain was fined and the ferry captain was docked pay and suspended for two weeks. As with Elbe 5, the general reaction from everyone is that the yacht captain was an idiot. But the ferry should have been backing down a good twenty seconds earlier (at least) - as soon as it became apparent that a collision would happen if both vessels continued on course. If they had done so they would likely have avoided the collision. The best part? The name of the yacht is "Nap Tyme". Can't make this stuff up.
    Last edited by cstevens; 06-14-2019 at 04:38 PM.
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    Default Re: Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    Was it too shallow for them to bear away?

    One other thought: Better to run aground than get run over.
    There's the plan, then there's what actually happens.

    Ben Sebens, RN

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    Default Re: Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    The consensus on the video seems to be that there is an audible command of "Hart Backbord" - "hard a-port" before the turn to starboard, which is what the Norddeutsche Rundfunk reported as well. I can't make it out at all. There is some sort of helm command, but it sounds more like "Wir fallen ab" - "We're falling off", which would be the same essentially. IF the order was turn to port, the last error in the chain would be the helmsman's.

    But before that, there must have been a few other mistakes made. The collision happened inside if the fairway, which is navigable for ships with 12,8m draught at low tide. Astrosprinter draws 7.3m and they were fully loaded down. Elbe 5 however draws a mere 3.7m. There should have been enough room for them to fall off a bit, slip outside the fairway to port and scrape by. Then tack immediatley and get the hell away from the wrong side of the fairway.

    But that's far from what they did. What astonishes me as well is that Elbe 5 is giving 5 short, twice, while staying on collision course, full on the wind.

    (d). When vessels in sight of one another are approaching each other and from any cause either vessel fails to
    understand the intentions or actions of the other, or is in doubt whether sufficient action is being taken by the other to
    avoid collision, the vessel in doubt shall immediately indicate such doubt by giving at least five short and rapid blasts on
    the whistle. Such signal may be supplemented by a light signal of at least five short and rapid flashes.
    The intentions of the freighter were pretty darn clear: I'm going down the fairway, therefor I'm the stand-on vessel. There probably is not enough room to turn to port and go over to the wrong side, into oncoming traffic. Get out of my way.

    Did they honestly expect the freighter to give them room, just so they could keem their height and avoid another tack? How could a former Elbe pilot not realize that the opponent had right of way by virtue of travelling in the fairway? Why turn to starboard? Always turn away from the opponent.

    There's a lot of questions. And I agree, the video doesn't make them look good.
    Last edited by MoritzSchwarzer; 06-14-2019 at 05:22 PM.

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    Default Re: Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    As soon as I saw the video all I could think about was their poor crew resources management ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crew_resource_management ). I'm guessing the captain yelled "hard to port" at the last minute, but the crew put the tiller to port.....

    Bearing off wouldn't have been too rough - the main was down, they could have backed off the fore sail peak ASAP to loose power. It's too bad they even put themselves in that situation. It's weird that the first response is to honk a horn at a ship. The captain must have believed he had right of way and the ship could turn quickly and wasn't constrained by draft in a channel.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark0; 06-14-2019 at 06:28 PM.

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    Default Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    That's insane.

    She's hard on the wind. All the skipper had to do was fall off for a minute or two. Probably lose some way, what with the container ship to windward. Then harden up again.

    If the main was down, and she's running with foresail and jib only, she's likely going to come off the wind right quick. And [trying to] tacking her with fore and jib only, in that breeze, probably wasn't going to happen. Certainly not going to happen fast enough.
    Last edited by Nicholas Carey; 06-14-2019 at 06:56 PM.
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    Default Re: Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    On a clear day, when a freighter is bearing down on you, steer out of the way. Here, the schooner just needed to fall off a big and let the freight go by. It's not as if the freight loomed up suddenly.
    Elect a clown expect a circus

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    Default Re: Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    A ship like that one is visible from at least 10 miles away.

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    Default Re: Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    Bad way for a bunch of youngsters to learn what not ​to do.

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    Default Re: Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    I am curious to know what the current was doing...
    Sometimes if you are beating into the wind and tacking with a strong favorable current the helm will not answer. You have to back the helm to get through stays.
    It is good that a bunch of kids were not killed or maimed.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    I am curious to know what the current was doing...
    Sometimes if you are beating into the wind and tacking with a strong favorable current the helm will not answer. You have to back the helm to get through stays.
    It is good that a bunch of kids were not killed or maimed.


    Or better... now t try to get through stays.
    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. — P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

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    Default Re: Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    I make a guess that the schooner does have an engine? It could have luffed up way before to let the bigger ship in a fairway pass, and if the risk of falling off and running aground was a threat, they could have just turned a key. I dont know what was going through the skippers head, he is lucky he does not have man-slaughter charges being charged against him. Could have been worse, but should never have happened.

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    Default Re: Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    "He is lucky he does not have man-slaughter charges being charged against him"

    I suspect he will be nailed with some other charge of criminal negligence.

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    Default Re: Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    "He is lucky he does not have man-slaughter charges being charged against him"

    I suspect he will be nailed with some other charge of criminal negligence.

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    Default Re: Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    Quote Originally Posted by cstevens View Post

    auto pilot?
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Schooner ELBE 5 ex-WANDER BIRD Sunk

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    auto pilot?
    Yes, engaged while the skipper went to the head.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

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