• Germany edition
 
German sailors in suspected racist mutiny
Hermelin crew members depart for Lebanon in May 2012. Photo: DPA

German sailors in suspected racist mutiny

Published: 27 Feb 2013 11:16 GMT+01:00
Updated: 27 Feb 2013 11:16 GMT+01:00

The victim holds the rank of bosun – the equivalent of a staff sergeant in the army – and is German-born but of Thai descent, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Tuesday.

At least four first mates – the equivalent of sergeants in the army - dragged their superior officer out of his bunk late at night on February 15th, while the German Navy's warship the Hermelin was docked in Beirut harbour.

They taped the man, who was only wearing underwear, to a table before writing “this is where the mongs live” on his legs, the paper said.

“All investigations we've conducted so far have shown that the incident [did not have a] xenophobic background,” control command told the paper, adding it did not appear alcohol had played a role in the attack either.

At least four first mates are thought to have been involved in the incident and were sent back to Germany to face disciplinary action, the paper said. The state prosecutor in Rostock is expected to investigate further.

The victim has remained on board, where the Marines will continue with their UN mission off the Lebanese coast.

The paper suggested that because the boat was so small – the Hermelin is just over 60 metres long – it was likely that other crew members were culpable in the incident in that they looked on without intervening to prevent it.

Two sailors took photos of the incident with their phones and were later ordered to delete them. At least 13 people were interrogated in relation to the incident, wrote the paper.

The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

12:20 February 27, 2013 by Bier_me
There's a big difference between hazing, which is what was described in this article and mutiny. 4 enlisted dudes tying up a rank equivalent of a staff sargeant is not a mutiny and he is not their superior officer. He may outrank them, but he is not an officer and not their overall commander. In no way is he in charge of the ship, so how can you have a mutiny?
12:23 February 27, 2013 by pepsionice
Man, you would have to really squeeze the heck out of this story....to say mutiny is possible. I would suggest that you go back and view the stories from the 1700s and how mutinies tend to work. If you held down the flag guy, or the cook, or the chief electrician on board the vessel....that just isn't mutiny.
12:49 February 27, 2013 by thosesocks
It also seems ridiculous to call it a "suspected racist mutiny" when the source you quote in the article (who would know what they're talking about, unless you're accusing them of being in on the racism?) says specifically that it did *not* have a xenophobic background. Sounds like milking the incident to the point of lying, Local.
12:50 February 27, 2013 by raandy
Mutiny, I think not. This was just hazing amongst enlisted personell as Bier_me has stated. It shows how far the overzealous PC controllers have come.
15:40 February 27, 2013 by catjones
'naval sailors' is redundant.
18:45 February 27, 2013 by Bigfoot76
On small naval craft, the chain of command tends to slide to the lower end. An extreme instance is that an Admiral is obviously not going to be in command of a rubber patrol raft. I doubt the victim was the "C/O" of the boat but he may have been left in command. In that situation he would be the officer in charge even without being an officer. In which case Mutiny could in theory happen.

Still, whomever it is that wrote this piece should return to writing for the classified adds.
20:44 February 27, 2013 by twisted
And they are not marines, but sailors....Jeez.
21:39 February 27, 2013 by farmy
Being a former Marine, this sounds like a normal day in the navy.
21:49 February 27, 2013 by Englishted
@twisted

Aren't sailors people on ships/boats that are powered by the wind or under sail?

I know mariners are not in the armed forces but on civilian ships/boats .

So isn't there a new word for military men/women controlling ship/boats .

Now I have worn out my / tab time for a new keyboard.
10:06 February 28, 2013 by ATM
This is not a mutiny. Could be just sailors/soldiers ragging each other. But the guy that got tied up did not see it that way so they should have stopped. Maybe there had been some ongoing issues. I think the headline for this story was a bit of a stretch.
13:36 February 28, 2013 by princigalli
They are sending these kinds of people in Lebanon? Germany won't look very good there like this.
22:59 February 28, 2013 by Mark S.
In most military organizations, it is a very serious crime to physically attack someone of superior rank. Some of the comments want to quibble over whether it is "muntiy", but that is splitting hairs.

If you can trust wikipedia: Als Meuterei gilt (§ 27) nach dem deutschen Wehrstrafgesetz, wenn sich Soldaten zusammenrotten und eine gemeinschaftlich begangene Gehorsamsverweigerung (§ 20), eine Bedrohung (§ 23), Nötigung (§ 24) oder einen tätlichen Angriff (§ 25) gegen einen Vorgesetzten durchführen.

Was there an "Angriff" against "Vorgesetzten"? "dragged their superior officer out of his bunk" sure sounds like it.
10:27 March 1, 2013 by wenddiver
He is lucky much worse didn't happen to him. Only a really stupid person goes wandering around by himself in the bowels of a warship if he is the slightest bit unpopular. I took Naval ROTC at Southern University and our Commander always reminded the Midshipmen about what First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill said "Rum and Sodomy maybe facts of Naval life, but they are not actual traditions". Needless to say all Midshipmen gave the Sailors their privacy unless performing a necessary duty after that.

Sailors live cramped lives away from family, friends, and bars,sluts, decent Gambling facilities when at Sea,in a dangerous enviroment full of bad weather and bland food, so you have to understand a certain amount of pent up energy amongst young fighting men. Nobody ever glorifies the young NATO Destroyer crews that keep the Sea in the North Atlantic, so that the supply lines from America that keep Europe Free are maintaned, and were maintained throughout theCold War.

No need for an outside investigation, the Ship's Captain could call them before a Captain's Mast and dock their pay or lock them in the Ship's Brigg on Bread and Water for awhile.There was no intention to refuse an order or take the ship, so a charge of Mutiny would not hold water.
11:09 March 2, 2013 by Roberto Gold
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
Today's headlines
German of the Week
'Now I can grow cannabis at home'
Günter Weiglein. Photo: DPA

'Now I can grow cannabis at home'

Günter Weiglein is one of three men in Germany who is allowed to grow his own cannabis thanks to a court ruling last week. But he tells The Local he’s not celebrating just yet. READ  

Germany tops penis enlargement table
Do your wurst, doc. Photo: DPA

Germany tops penis enlargement table

Germany is the world’s leader in penis enlargements, with five times as many people in the country undergoing the procedure than anywhere else in the world. Globally, Germany carries out the fourth highest amount of cosmetic surgery operations. READ  

The Local List
The best words in Austrian German
Which one is the Austrian word for tomato? Photo: APA/dpa

The best words in Austrian German

If you’ve lived in Germany, or you learnt Hochdeutsch at school, you may be surprised by some of the language differences between Austria and parts of Germany. READ  

Turks in Germany vote for first time
Voters at Berlin's Olympic Stadium on Thursday. Photo: DPA

Turks in Germany vote for first time

Germany’s large Turkish community headed to polling stations on Thursday to vote for the first time in a Turkish election. The Local visits Berlin’s Olympic Stadium which has been turned into a giant voting booth. READ  

Ice Age lion gets its head back
The lion with the missing half of its head. Photo: Hilde Jensen, Universität Tübingen.

Ice Age lion gets its head back

A 40,000-year-old figurine of a lion has been reunited with its head, more than 80 years after it was first found in a cave in southern Germany, following an extraordinary discovery. READ  

German jobless rate rises in July
Photo: DPA

German jobless rate rises in July

Unemployment in Germany rose in July to 6.6 percent, the Federal Employment Agency said on Thursday, blaming the increase on "seasonal reasons". READ  

Your lottery numbers are 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13
The winning numbers in Wednesday night's lotto. Photo: DPA/Lotto

Your lottery numbers are 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13

Three lucky Germans will take home a six-figure prize after an extremely rare lottery draw. The lucky numbers on Wednesday night were 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 37. READ  

Germany denies 'land for gas' deal with Putin
Merkel with Poroshenko and Putin in June. Photo: DPA

Germany denies 'land for gas' deal with Putin

UPDATE: Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin have been working on a secret peace plan for Ukraine, The Independent newspaper reported on Thursday. The report was later denied by the German government. READ  

Space ship brings special cargo for astronaut
A cargo compartment on the ATV. Photo: ESA

Space ship brings special cargo for astronaut

The last European space freighter blasted off to the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday, carrying a special treat for the station’s German astronaut. The launch of the German-built supply ship marks the end of an era. READ  

World Cup victory makes Germans thirsty
Beer sales abroad and during the World Cup were behind the rise. Photo: DPA

World Cup victory makes Germans thirsty

Germany’s World Cup victory was also good news for the country’s brewers who saw a welcome reversal in the long-term trend of draining beer sales. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Five reasons to visit Oktoberfest (and five not to)
Photo: DPA
Society
Huge Bavarian crop circle puzzles crowds
Photo: DPA
Analysis & Opinion
Have Your Say: Should Germany legalize cannabis?
Photo: DPA
Education
Germany's students fail to graduate in time
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Hamburg harbour lit up in blue
Business & Money
JobTalk: 'Application process is failing'
Photo: Bundesarchiv/Bild 183-S45825
Culture
Germany puts 700,000 WWI docs online
Photo: DPA
Society
This man wants to give all of us €12,000 a year
Photo: DPA
Education
Top university switches master's courses to English
Travel
Plans unveiled for bike trail along former Iron Curtain
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The Local List: 12 best words in German
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual school turning education on its head
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
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

3,240
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd