• Germany's news in English
Underwater pensioner hunts boats on famed Bavarian lake
A passenger boat on Lake Starnberg. Photo: DPA

Underwater pensioner hunts boats on famed Bavarian lake

The Local · 30 Aug 2016, 17:16

Published: 30 Aug 2016 16:26 GMT+02:00
Updated: 30 Aug 2016 17:16 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

For years an elderly man has been terrorising captains on the idyllic Lake Starnberg - a hangout for the rich and famous in southern Bavaria.

“I am a big game hunter on the lake,” the man, who chose to remain anonymous, told Bild. “I love chasing the ships, and what a great feeling it is when they sound the horn!”

With flippers on his hands and feet, the impish oldie streaks stealthily through the water on his back, with only his mouth visible above the surface.

He then springs out of the water right next to the boat and forces the captain to swerve violently.

Unsuspecting passengers receive the shock of their lives when he emerges from the lake rather like the Loch Ness Monster.

One incredulous passenger exclaimed in Bild's video report: “He’s got a screw loose!”

“It is completely dangerous,” a spokesperson for Starnberg Boat Trips - a company which provides tours around the lake - told The Local.

But the reckless pensioner is unperturbed by the risk of being turned to mincemeat by the propellers.

“With my flippers, I have such unbelievable strength that the propellers don’t get me!” he told Bild

But irritated captains are forced to sound the horn, slam on the brakes and perform dangerous manoeuvres to dodge the mischievous septuagenarian.

“It’s a very frustrating burden for the shipmasters,” said Ralph Schlemmert, operations manager of Starnberg Boat Trips.

The reasons for why the pensioner has taken up this strange habit remain something of a mystery. But one thing he told Bild hints at a form of revenge.

Twenty-five years ago, “a water safety boat accidentally rammed into my head whilst I was swimming [...] I was so angry,” he said.

For a long time, the police tried in vain to catch the devilish pensioner.

“Years ago they pulled me out of the water into their boat. But I just jumped out and swam away,” he claimed.

Story continues below…

Whenever he was sighted, the boat company would call the cops and say, “The crackpot is back!” But by the time they arrived at the lake, it was too late.

But the game of cat and mouse could soon be over.

The police recently identified the man and are currently investigating the case, the spokesperson from the Starnberg Boat Trips told the Local.

This isn’t the first time that people visiting Bavarian lakes have got more than they bargained for.

Earlier this month, an enormous two-metre-long catfish attacked a woman in a lake in south-eastern Bavaria. And last week a naked swimmer was hospitalised after a fishing hook pierced through his penis.

By Verity Middleton

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

Eurowings cabin crew union to strike all day Thursday
Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will last all day Thursday as ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Hesse hopes to set example by building Iraqi orphanages
Refugee children in northern Iraq. Photo: DPA

The wealthy central German state of Hesse has set aside €1 million to build a school, family homes and an orphanage in northern Iraq, in an effort to help refugees there.

The Local List
10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
David Hasselhoff. Photo: DPA

Whether it be efficiency, humourlessness or a love of a certain Baywatch star, there are many cliches stuck in the heads of foreigners about Germany. But how true are they?

Fake Germanwings victim relative convicted in Cologne
A torn piece of metal at the crash site in 2015. Photo: DPA

A German court on Wednesday gave a woman a year's suspended jail sentence for posing as the cousin of a victim in last year's Germanwings plane crash and obtaining compensation offered by the airline.

Couple accused of torturing, murdering women go on trial
The so-called 'house of horrors' in Höxter where the couple allegedly tortured and killed women. Photo: DPA.

A couple accused of luring women to their village home with personal ads started trial on Wednesday over charges that they tortured and killed at least two of their victims.

After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

Merkel: murky internet giants distort perception of reality
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for internet giants to make public their closely-guarded algorithms, claiming that they are not giving people diverse enough information.

Pegida leader 'paid court costs with group's money'
Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann. Photo: DPA.

The leader of the anti-Islam movement reportedly used money from Pegida's coffers to pay for two personal court cases, German media reported this week.

Anger as Berlin scraps Turkey concert on Armenia genocide
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

10 ways German completely messes up your English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd