Six-figure damages caused by attempted scuttle of listed lightship in Emden

A more than 100-year-old lightship with listed status, the Amrumbank, was the victim of an attempted scuttling on June 20th in the centre of Emden, on the River Ems in lower Saxony. The museum association that owns the 106-year-old listed lightship said that the damage was estimated at at least €100,000.

The attempted sinking went beyond simple vandalism. The perpetrators broke into the engine room and drilled four holes in the steel hull, which is up to eight millimetres thick. This caused water ingress. Seven portholes were opened to allow more water to enter should the vessel have tiled sufficiently from the initial ingress.

However, a member of the museum ship association discovered the damage in good time and promptly alerted other association members. The water in the engine room reached a level of 1.30 metres. About 18 cubic meters of the oil-polluted water was pumped out on June 21.

The museum association assumed that the perpetrators may have gained access to the lightship via the Delft with a rubber dinghy.

The Amrumbank/Deutsche Bucht had been towed back to its berth on the Ratsdelft in the centre of Emden city in December 2020 after extensive renovation work.