Small vessel sinks at the waterfront

Otis Daniels_Finck

A small wooden vessel named Lilly sunk in the shallow waters at the recreational anchorage area close to the Walvis Bay waterfront this morning at 07:40.

Justina Evelinus the acting executive for commercial services at the Namibian Ports Authority (Namport) confirmed this.

Evelinus said that the vessel (a wooden double mast boat) was tied up on a mooring and seemed to have sprung a leak on her keel whilst moored.

“Lilly subsequently took on too much water and settled on the shallow seabed beneath her. The vessel was unoccupied at the time of the incident and has no consequence on any surrounding vessels or on navigation.”

According to the Port engineer Elzevir W. Gelderbloem, there was no pollution or debris evident from the scene and indications are that all fuel tanks are empty.

“An investigation has commenced to determine the cause of the incident and details will be released in due course. The wreckage is currently being removed by the owner as per the port authority’s instructions.”

According to an article (https://bit.ly/2T7dwUl) which appeared in the Algemeine Zeiting on 7 April, Beate Schwippert and Günter Hertz a German couple, who chose Namibia as their home country more than 20 years ago arrived with Lilly in Walvis Bay in 2011 after an 8 month long journey over the Atlantic Ocean from Germany.

The couple wanted to open something like a Museum-Café on the deck of the 70 year old former museums-ship KFK-Navy Vessel, established in the Second World War in Germany.

Lilly was more than an old ship: She is the only vessel of the last known 29 former "Kriegs-Fisch-Kutter" (KFK), that still runs on her original engine.

The KFK-Vessels where built by the order of the German Government at the beginning of the Second World War.

The Mass Construction of 1072 KFK-Vessels in 1942 was the biggest shipbuilding progression in the history of German seafaring.

The ships where build undercover as normal fishing vessels in 42 dockyards by seven different European countries. None of the countries knew at that point, that Germany would convert them into warships.

Round about 135 of the KFK-Vessels sank during the war. Some were taken as spoils of war by the British marine. They were restructured and sold to different countries. Many vessels were later used as private yachts. Others served their original purpose as fishing vessels.

Lilly had been known by the name Pollux with the number KFK 51 in times of war.