Glückauf (1886)

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Tourists standing near the Glückauf
Namesake"Good Luck"
OwnerHeinrich Riedemann
OperatorHeinrich Riedemann
Port of registryGerman
BuilderArmstrong, Mitchell and Company, Newcastle upon Tyne
Yard number473
Laid down25 November 1885
Launched16 June 1886
Maiden voyage10 July 1886
Out of service24 March 1893
FateWrecked, 25 March 1893
General characteristics [1]
TypeOil tanker
Length300 ft 6 in (91.59 m) o/a
Beam37 ft 2 in (11.33 m)
Depth23 ft 3 in (7.09 m)
Propulsion1 × 3-cylinder Wallsend Slipway & Engineering Company triple expansion steam engine, 200 nhp, 1 shaft
Speed10.5 knots (19.4 km/h; 12.1 mph)[2]

Glückauf was a German ship that represented a major step forward in oil tanker design. "When the Glückauf sailed from the Tyne on 10 July 1886 she was the first ocean going tanker with oil to her skin".[3] The vessel was in use from 1886 to 25 March 1893, when it ran aground at Fire Island in New York.[4]

The 2700-ton tanker was built at the Armstrong Mitchell yard, Walker, Newcastle upon Tyne, Britain, with eight compartments for the cargo. It was the first ship in which oil could be pumped directly into the vessel hull instead of being loaded in barrels or drums.[5] (Other sources give the gross tonnage in the 2300s.)[6]

It was built for Wilhelm Anton Riedemann's shipping firm in Geestemünde and ran mostly as a tramp steamer.[citation needed]

Glückauf was on a charter voyage for the Standard Oil Company when it ran aground across from Sayville, New York at Blue Point Beach on Fire Island along Long Island.[4][7] Differing sources give the date of the wreck as March 23, 24, or 25, in 1892 or 1893;[4] a contemporary New York Times article said that it ran aground "just before dawn" on March 24, 1893.[7] Men from the Blue Point Life-Saving Station rescued the crew. On April 7, it was briefly dislodged and was being pulled out to sea when the hawser broke; the ship ran permanently aground.[4]

The wreck quickly became a tourist attraction, and scavengers ripped up whatever they could and carried it away.[7]

The wreck of the Glückauf now lies 75–100 feet (23–30 m) offshore, from the water surface to 25 feet (7.6 m) of water.[6]


  1. ^ "Gluckauf (1886)". Tyne Built Ships. 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  2. ^ Visser, Auke (2013). "Gluckauf (1886-1893)". Auke Visser's German Esso Tanker Site. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  3. ^ Clarke, J. F. (1997). Building Ships on the North East Coast Part 1. Bewick Press. p. 177.
  4. ^ a b c d Amon, Rhoda (28 October 2000). "Still Waving Goodbye To a Ship Out of Luck". Newsday. Archived from the original on 25 June 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
  5. ^ "Tanker History". Alexandria, Virginia: John E. Pike. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Gluckauf". Scuba Diving - New Jersey & Long Island New York. Aberdeen, New Jersey: Rich Galiano. 28 April 2009. Archived from the original on 14 June 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
  7. ^ a b c "A Big Steamship's Fate; Now Only a Prey For Seaside Relic Hunters. The Gluckauf At Fire Island; For Over Two Years a Plaything for the Surf and a Curiosity for Summer Strollers Along the Beach". The New York Times. 10 November 1895. Archived from the original on 25 June 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2012.

Coordinates: 40°40′51.5″N 73°1′7.6″W / 40.680972°N 73.018778°W / 40.680972; -73.018778