Wylde Swan

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Wylde Swan
Career (Netherlands)
Name: Wylde Swan
Port of registry: Dutch
Laid down: 1920
Launched: 2010
Homeport: Makkum
Identification: IMO number: 5126718, MMSI number: 244074000
General characteristics
Type: topsail Schooner
Length: 63 m
Beam: 7.5 m
Height: 43 m
Draught: 4 m
Installed power: 480 HP
Sail plan: 7 sails
Speed: max 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph) sail
Capacity: 120 day sail 36 trainees passages
Crew: 12

The Wylde Swan was originally built in Germany in 1920 as a steam ship.[1] She was designed to work with the German herring fleet, collecting the herring at sea and transporting the fish to market at speed to get the best price. To maximise speed she was built long and narrow, and in keeping with her day had a vertical stem and counter stern.[2]

These features were what attracted Willem Sligting when he saw her, realising she could make a fast sailing vessel.[3]

She was relaunched in June 2010 as a two masted topsail schooner, with worldwide certification as a sail training vessel.[4]

Wylde Swan passing under Tower Bridge decorated for the 2012 Summer Olympics in August 2012. Note the Olympic rings folded up to allow passage of the mast.[5]

Wyvern Sinking[edit]

Wylde Swan was mentioned in connection of the sinking of the Wyvern during the early hours of July 11, 2013. Both ships were participating in the Tall Ship's Race when the Wyvern started taking on water.[6] Wyvern alerted the Swedish coast guard at 05:21, stating that the ship was taking in water and in critical need of aid. The coastguard boats, with the aid of surrounding ships (including the Wylde Swan), attempted to use bilge pumps to prevent sinking. When this was not successful, the crew members were evacuated, the last being removed by helicopter at 08:00. At 09:22, the coast guard received a report that 3 crewmembers from the Wylde Swan had boarded the Wyvern, attempting to rescue the sinking ship. At 09:37, the ship finally sank, leaving two of the Wylde Swan crew members in the water and a third missing. The two crew members were taken to hospital by helicopter. Reports suggest that the third man was caught in the rigging and drowned. The weather at the time was harsh with waves between 3 and 4 meters and a stiff gale of 15 m/s.[7] The body was recovered by Swedish Coast Guard a few days later.[8]

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