Accident: Stranded “ghost ship” off Norderney causes mystery

The sailing ship that washed ashore on Norderney on Monday morning is not a backdrop for the next part of “Pirates of the Caribbean”, but rather a damaged home-built ship. According to media reports, the skipper of the sailing yacht, who is around 70 years old, was unable to reach the harbor. He is said to have had difficulty stopping the ship and became stranded in the middle of the bathing area on the island’s western beach.

The German Society for the Rescue of Shipwrecked People (DGzRS) wanted to prevent the accident and was already on the water with its rescue cruiser “Eugen” and made contact. At this point there was no acute danger and, according to the DGzRS, the German-speaking skipper did not want to seek help. He was unable to avert the accident, but remained unscathed. A police spokeswoman told NDR that the boat had no working engine, no anchor and had suffered rudder damage when it ran aground.

Apparently the stranded “ghost ship” was self-built, which seems plausible given its appearance. Not only does it look abandoned and run down, but the shape of the hull is also unique. While the bow is reminiscent of a Roman galley with a ram and eye motif, the rest of the hull is closest to that of a motor sailor. The stern is open and has an interesting rudder recovery mechanism, and a red inflatable canoe or something similar seems to function as a dinghy.

Last week the scary yacht was said to have been in the harbor on the neighboring island of Juist. According to other reports, the boat was spotted in Groningen a few weeks ago. Since being stranded on Norderney, the “ghost ship” has attracted numerous onlookers and unexpectedly became a new tourist attraction. According to his own statements, the owner has often spent long periods of time on the sailboat and continues to live on his boat, as a photographer reported. He tells visitors stories about his life at sea.

Although it is not a ghost ship in the literal sense, as it is still inhabited, the associations with an abandoned yacht can hardly be denied.

According to DGzRS, there is no risk of the stranded yacht drifting out to sea again and the environment is not threatened either. Nevertheless, the owner is obliged to remove the mysterious yacht from the beach at his own expense. However, how this will happen is still unclear.

As long as the owner does not show a clear desire to give up ownership, the “ghost ship” remains in his hands and responsibility. However, if that changes, ownership will expire and the yacht will henceforth be an ownerless property. If it is clear that the owner wants to give up his ownership, the ship can easily be taken over by third parties. Whether a ghost ship is stranded or adrift at sea makes no difference in Germany.

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