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stepping stones of maritime history


The identity of the wreck has been unknown for a long time, but recently the wreck-diver Rocco Hannert found a match in the documented loss of the tjalk MARIE.

On 26 February 1933, MARIE left Aalborg (Denmark) with a cargo of 130 ton cement destined for Hamburg. In the morning of 5th March she sailed through heavy fog in light south-westerly winds. As the sight slightly improved with the dissolving fog, the master Gustav Nagel gave the order to stop the fog signal. Too early, as it turned out, as the cargo vessel MERKUR suddenly appeared from a waft of mist and collided with MARIE. The vessel started to sink immediately and MARIE's mast came crushing down onto MERKUR's deck. Both, Gustav Nagel and his deck-hand Blohm were saved by two other vessels, which also escorted the damaged MERKUR to a save port.


This is an uncommonly large tjalk. In the bow section the windlass and the tabernacle are visible. The fallen mast is still sitting in the latter, and lies on top of the large cargo hatches. Traces of cement were found in the vessel's hold. A loose leeboard has been spotted on the port-side of the wreck.

This sketch of the wreck by Oleksiy Konovalov shows the fallen mast, which foot is still placed in the tabernacle. Konovalov suggests a gaff ketch rig in the hypothetical reconstruction drawing.

The fallen mast with the hatch opening below.

The wreck's bow.

MasterGustav Nagel
Length98.4 feet (30 m)
Beam23 feet (7 m)


The wrecksite is at a depth of 24 metres and is a popular destination for wreck-divers. It is well preserved, but heavily overgrown.


  • Oppelt, I. (2019).
    Wracktauchen: Die schönsten Tauchplätze der Ostsee.

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