Two inquiries are underway in Germany into claims of harsh treatment and an alleged mutiny on the country’s most prestigious training ship, the Gorch Fock.
Last November a female officer cadet fell to her death from the rigging. She died from her injuries on Sunday. The accident led to protests from the other cadets, who refused to climb the masts when the ship was under sail. They were then told if they refused they would be sent home.
The navy then recalled the ship to Germany, and it is now crossing the Pacific sailed by regular seamen and the training officers. Stories have since emerged alleging tough initiation tasks and sexual bullying on board.
In December Captain Norbert Schatz said in an interview in Buenos Aires that modern youths were not rugged or nimble enough to sail a tall ship, and spent too much time in front of computers.
Germany to probe Gorch Fock voyage