• Germany edition
 
Investigators clear Gorch Fock commander of allegations
Photo: DPA

Investigators clear Gorch Fock commander of allegations

Published: 13 Mar 2011 13:38 GMT+01:00
Updated: 13 Mar 2011 13:38 GMT+01:00

The Financial Times Deutschland obtained a copy of the 98-page report by an investigative committee led by German Navy Adm. Horst-Dieter Kolletschke. The paper said the allegations against Commander Norbert Schatz had proven themselves to be "largely untenable."

In January, Schatz was relieved of his duties as commander of the training ship by then-German Defence Minister Karl-Theoder zu Guttenberg after officer cadets came forth with claims of gross misconduct on the Gorch Fock leading up to and after the death of a woman cadet in November.

Twenty-five-year-old crew member Sarah S. fell 27 metres to her death during a climbing exercise, sparking an alleged “mutiny" on board the ship.

A report by Hellmut Königshaus, the German parliamentary liaison to the military, highlighted allegations by former cadets who said instructors were involved in heavy drinking and sexual assaults, in addition to subjecting naval trainees to humiliating drills.

Guttenberg was heavily criticised for his decision to suspend Schatz, particularly as the defence minister had cautioned not to draw premature conclusions about the case before examining the claims against the commander.

The investigative commission's report described officer cadets' claims of unreasonable drills following their crew member's death as "individual statements."

"Insofar as these allegations could be confirmed in part, they were not nearly as serious as they were originally made out to be," the report read, according to Financial Times Deutschland.

The committee questioned 221 officer cadets and 192 relatives of the Gorch Fock's permanent crew. However, the investigation did not concern the fatality on board the ship on November 7.

In particular, the commission's findings contradicted several cadets' allegations that instructors had made them climb the ship's rigging following their colleague's death.

The Local/arp

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

14:18 March 13, 2011 by catjones
Whew! That was close. I was afraid someone might be held responsible. Now, on to Duisburg.
14:56 March 13, 2011 by Al uk
I have heard they are renaming her (the ship) the Bounty.
15:55 March 13, 2011 by maxbrando
All of this was caused by overweight females who allege maltreatment when they actually have to perform.
22:09 March 13, 2011 by derExDeutsche
... that's the good news.

The Bad news is; The Captain wants to go water skiing!
12:28 March 14, 2011 by Gilly58
phew! what a relief....now, where did we stash the Rum?
13:43 March 15, 2011 by hanskarl
"Insofar as these allegations could be confirmed in part, they were not nearly as serious as they were originally made out to be,"

Enough said. If there were issues and for a ship with mainly "trainees" one should want to teach and testify to the highest level of professionalism and standards. Scuttle the whole crew and start over if even one shred of evidence turns up regarding these charges. Everything rises and falls on leadership.
16:03 March 15, 2011 by wenddiver
Wow! Who would have thought sailing a crew full of 18 year old girls to Brazil could ne so embarrassing.
Today's headlines
North braces for storms and floods
Cars waiting to be loaded onto the ferry at Bremerhaven, Lower Saxony, were caught in flooding on Wendnesday. Photo: DPA

North braces for storms and floods

UPDATE: The remnants of hurricane Gonzalo have drifted across the Atlantic and are now threatening North German cities with flooding, forecasters warned on Wednesday. The news followed a night of accidents caused by heavy winds in southern Germany. READ  

Kerry's challenge to Russia at Berlin Wall
US Secretary of State John Kerry at the Berlin Wall. Photo: DPA

Kerry's challenge to Russia at Berlin Wall

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited remnants of the Berlin Wall on Wednesday and warned that East-West tensions again threaten freedom in Europe, 25 years after its collapse. READ  

Satirist lives the dream on EU gravy train
Sonneborn in the EU Parliament. Photo: DPA

Satirist lives the dream on EU gravy train

Martin Sonneborn can’t believe his luck. The German comedian, leader of the political party “Die Partei”, managed to get elected to the European Parliament in May, and has found himself overwhelmed with fresh material. READ  

The Local List
Which high school cliche is your city?
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock

Which high school cliche is your city?

This week's Local List takes a leap of imagination and finds German cities fit perfectly into high school cliche categories. Who's the class clown? Who's the nerd? READ  

Indian schools drop German teaching
Indian pupils enrolled in German classes prepare for Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier's visit to their school. Photo: DPA

Indian schools drop German teaching

Thousands of children in India will no longer be taught German after the country's education ministry allowed a contract to lapse. READ  

Syria-bound US teens stopped in Frankfurt
A passenger plane landing at Frankfurt airport. Photo: DPA

Syria-bound US teens stopped in Frankfurt

Three teenage girls from Colorado were arrested by German police at Frankfurt airport after running away from home, reportedly on their way to join Isis in Syria. READ  

Tourists stranded on cable car over Rhine
Tuesday night's rescue operation Photo: DPA

Tourists stranded on cable car over Rhine

Six people, including a family and two American tourists, were left dangling 40 metres in the air over the Rhine for hours late on Tuesday after Cologne's cable car came to a halt. READ  

7:1! Bayern celebrate record in Rome
Arjen Robben celebrates the first goal against AS Roma. Photo: DPA

7:1! Bayern celebrate record in Rome

Bayern Munich were elated on Tuesday night after securing a 7-1 victory against Roma in their group stage Champions League clash. READ  

Nazi U-boat wreck found off US coast
A preserved World War II U-Boat on the beach near Kiel, Germany. Photo: DPA

Nazi U-boat wreck found off US coast

A World War II German U-boat and an American merchant vessel it sank in battle have been found deep in the ocean off the coast of North Carolina, officials said on Tuesday. READ  

Fourth time lucky for free Berlin WiFi?
Coming soon? Photo: DPA

Fourth time lucky for free Berlin WiFi?

Berlin's bid to set up a free city-wide wireless network has so far come to nothing. But city bosses are now trying for a fourth time - and hope to have the project running next year. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
An international school unlike any other : School on the Rhine
Photo: Fitzpatrick family
Society
'We still don't know what happened to Matthew'
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Robbers blow up Berlin bank
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: Facebook
Society
German motorcycle gang joins Isis fight
Photo: DPA
Politics
UKIP ‘seeks EU pact’ with German satirical party
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: World's biggest erotic fair opens in Berlin
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The ten richest people in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,491
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd