Sunday, 16 July 2017

Norwegian tall ship Statsraad Lehmkuhl in Öresund

This afternoon the Norwegian sail training ship Statsraad Lehmkuhl was sailing southwards in Öresund on its way to the Tall Ships Races in Turku, Finland:

The Statsraad Lehmkuhl has an interesting history:

"The "Statsraad Lehmkuhl" is a 3-masted steel bark, built by Johann C. Tecklenberg AG in Bremerhaven-Geestemünde in 1914 as a training ship for the German merchant marine. Her original name was "Grossherzog Friedrich August". During most of World War Ι the "Statsraad Lehmkuhl" was used as a stationary training ship in Germany, and was, after the war, taken as prize by England."
"On an initiative by the current director of Det Bergenske Dampskibsselskab (Bergen Line) and the former cabinet minister Kristofer Lehmkuhl, the «Statsraad Lehmkuhl» was purchased from England in 1921 and put into service as sail training vessel under Norwegian flag from 1923. As a token of appreciation and gratitude to Kristofer Lehmkuhl for his work for the school training ship cause, and for his work in the 1905 cabinet, the ship was renamed «Statsraad Lehmkuhl» (Minister Lehmkuhl).
«Statsraad Lehmkuhl» served as training vessel for Bergen School Ship Foundation until 1967, ex­cept for the period 1940 - 1945, when the Germans confiscated the ship during World War II and renamed her «Westwärts».
Despite public contributions, the Bergen School Ship Foundation could not afford to oper­ate the ship beyond 1966. The interest in traditional Training Vessels was declining, and in combination with increasing operating costs this resulted in serious considerations of selling the ship.
Shipowner Hilmar Reksten purchased the ship in order to prevent it from being sold abroad, and to make sure that it con­tinue as a school training ship.

During the years 1968 - 1972 Shipowner Reksten operated the «Statsraad Lehmkuhl»as a training ship at his own expense and mainly for the benefit of his own shipping company. Following the oil crisis and the tanker crisis, «Statsraad Lehmkuhl» was ultimately laid-up in Bergen harbour from 1973. In 1978 Shipowner Hilmar Reksten donated the «Statsraad Lehmkuhl» to the Statsraad Lehmkuhl Foundation, which is the current owner and opera­tor of the ship. The founda­tion has, over the years, rented the ship out to schools, clubs, compa­nies and other
organizations who have used the ship for cruises and shorter trips. In addi­tion the Foundation itself do arrange cruises and coastal trips which are open for the public to attend."
(The ship´s home page)

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