Bremen tourist attraction sinks into Weser river

The Roland of Bremen sunk into the River Weser and by Tuesday morning only the mast and parts of the deck could be seen rising out of the water.

Bremen tourist attraction sinks into Weser river

The Roland of Bremen sunk into the River Weser and by Tuesday morning only the mast and parts of the deck could be seen rising out of the water.

According to police, the ship, based on a typical trading boat from the Medieval period, filled with water during the night. At about 3am a witness reported that it was slowly sinking.

When the fire department reached the site early in the morning, water had spilled over the deck, meaning they were unable to climb aboard.

The ship is a reconstruction of a cog from 1380, the remains of which came to light during building work in 1962 in the Weser.

On closer inspection in 1962, investigators found that the ship from 1380 had not yet been fully completed and had been washed out to sea in a storm, before it sank to the bottom of the river.

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The original ship can be seen in the German Maritime Museum in neighbouring Bremerhaven. The boats were used for trading beer, grain or fish in the rivers and seas around Germany in the Hanseatic period.

The reconstruction of Roland of Bremen is retained by shipping company Hal över and is used for events and tourist boat tours.

Harro Koebnik from the company expressed his astonishment at the sinking. “All was in order,” Koebnik said. “We don´t know what caused the boat to sink.”

Roland of Bremen is regularly checked for damage, he added.

A statement on the website of the Bremen Tourist Board said it was not yet clear if the boat could be salvaged.

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