• Germany edition
 
Centuries-old shipwrecks emerge from sandbank
Photo: Brunckhorst/LKN-SH

Centuries-old shipwrecks emerge from sandbank

Published: 16 Jan 2013 13:18 GMT+01:00
Updated: 16 Jan 2013 16:34 GMT+01:00

The wrecks have popped up on the Süderoogsand sandbank in the middle of the Wadden Sea, or Wattenmeer in German, a huge stretch of mudflats and sandbanks off the German North Sea coast.

One is the Ulpiano, which became stranded on its maiden voyage from Cadiz in Spain to Southampton in the UK, on Christmas Eve 1870. This is an old favourite for officials at the Schleswig-Holstein office for coastal protection (LKN), which is responsible for the area concerned.

Its figurehead has been a feature of the Wyker Friesen museum for the last 100 years, while extensive research has been conducted into the accident - from which the captain and his 11-man crew escaped, finding shelter with locals.

The ship itself was stripped of everything of value, include its wooden sides, leaving just the metal skeleton, according to Karsten Hansen, chairman of the Föhr museum society, who has been researching the wreck for the last two years.

He visited the remains as they first started emerging earlier this winter, the Schleswig-Holstein news portal shz.de reported in October. Since then storms have uncovered even more of the wreck.

The wreck "was poking out before, but nothing more," said LKN spokesman Hendrik Brunckhorst. Now it is far more exposed, he said. "The Ulpiano is lying pretty open. You could look right into it."

See gorgeous pictures of the wrecks here.

There is also a wooden wreck which is thought to date back to around 1700 about which there is no information. Specialists were due to examine it on Wednesday. There is as yet little information about the third, but Brunckhorst told The Local there was not much more than pieces of iron poking out of the sand.

The ships are near the beacon which sits on the sandbank. "When the ships ran into trouble on the sea, they tried to save themselves by heading for the beacon," said Bruckhorst. It is the only thing on the sandbank, and can be seen from the water, serving as navigation aide, lighthouse and rescue point.

The sandbank has shifted around 40 metres east each year since 2005, the LKN said.

Coastal archaeology specialist Joachim Kühn, who used to work for the state investigating the region, said the current situation was very rare. He suggested wood probes be taken to see how old the newly found ship actually was.

They should work quickly though he warned - the next big storms could easily cover the wrecks up with sand again.

The Local/DPA/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

00:39 January 20, 2013 by ErnestPayne
Fascinating. I hope to see further articles on the wrecks. Also a neat juxtaposition of the article and advertisements for shipping dangerous goods.
Today's headlines
The Local List
Eight expat groups to save you in Germany
Photo: Jan Perlich/Munich RFC

Eight expat groups to save you in Germany

Think you're the only English speaker in your town or region? Think again! The Local List this week runs through eight of the best expat groups and clubs in Germany. READ  

Victims of GDR regime get benefit boost
Former GDR political prisoners Hartmut (l) and Gerda Stachowitz in a East Berlin prison which has stood empty for 20 years. Photo: DPA

Victims of GDR regime get benefit boost

Benefit payments to former political prisoners of ex-communist East Germany (GDR) will be raised to send an "important message" 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the government said on Wednesday. READ  

Cabinet agrees cap on city rent rises
Apartments in Leipzig. Photo: DPA

Cabinet agrees cap on city rent rises

Germany's cabinet agreed on Wednesday to cap ballooning property rents in high-demand urban neighbourhoods in a law set to come into force early next year. READ  

Berlin flights disrupted by WWII bomb find
Passengers are delayed at Tegel Airport. Photo: DPA

Berlin flights disrupted by WWII bomb find

UPDATE: The discovery of a US World War II bomb disrupted flights at Berlin’s Tegel Airport on Wednesday afternoon, with no flights taking off or landing for 30 minutes. The bomb has now been defused but later flights are still delayed. READ  

Refugee abuse guards 'nicknamed the SS'
A photo allegedly showing guards abusing one refugee. Photo: DPA/Police

Refugee abuse guards 'nicknamed the SS'

A group of guards who allegedly abused refugees in an asylum centre in western Germany were nicknamed “the SS” after Hitler's stormtroopers, according to one of their colleagues. Photos of guards abusing refugees have sparked a backlash in Germany against security firms. READ  

Nestle wins the food prize no one wants
First prize went to Nestle for its sugary baby food. Photo: Foodwatch

Nestle wins the food prize no one wants

A food watchdog presented Nestle with a prize to avoid on Wednesday for the cheekiest false advertising of the year. The runner-up was a chicken soup with no chicken in a vote of almost 160,000 Germans. READ  

Merkel's VIP jet set to fly soldiers home
One of the two A340 planes which are reserved for the Chancellor and government leaders. Photo: DPA

Merkel's VIP jet set to fly soldiers home

One of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s VIP jets is set to be used to ferry soldiers home who are stuck in Afghanistan, due to ongoing problems with the German military’s transport planes. READ  

German firms top EU lobbying list
Siemens was the highest ranked German company when it came to spending on EU lobbying, according to the register. Photo: DPA

German firms top EU lobbying list

Germany companies are among the biggest spenders when it comes to EU lobbying to influence decision makers in Brussels. There are more German lobbying organizations registered than from any other country in Europe but Belgium. READ  

City starts beer for alcoholics project
Photo: DPA

City starts beer for alcoholics project

A city in western Germany will start a controversial project on Wednesday to employ alcohol and drug addicts to clean the streets in return for beer, tobacco, food and small amounts of cash. READ  

Fault forces Germany to cut Eurofighters
A German Eurofighter. Photo: DPA

Fault forces Germany to cut Eurofighters

A manufacturing fault has been discovered in the troubled Eurofighter Typhoon warplanes, Germany's defence ministry said on Tuesday, announcing it was suspending deliveries of the sophisticated jets. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Munich
Bavarian independence becomes a reality... (online)
Photo: DPA/Police
National
'Criminals are at work in refugee homes'
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Immigrants have created how many German jobs?
Photo: DPA
National
Revealed: Germany's military feet of clay
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Marks and Spencer: Win €300 toward your new autumn wardrobe
Photo: Shutterstock
Society
Quiz: How good is your German?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Thousands take to Berlin's streets for marathon
Photo: DPA
Society
'Incest should be legal,' says ethics board
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten noises that sound very different in German
Photo: DPA
Society
QUIZ: Can you pass the German citizenship test?
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
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

3,169
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd