Very upset, frustrated and also angry I finally report about the tragedy around the Grethe Witting, the beautiful Lowestoft Lugger that we sailed from Rostock(Germany) to Mangalia (Romania). Many people wrote me emails after several reporters published the pictures of the sunken Grethe Witting on the net. As I am still involved in lawsuits it is not possible to provide all information at this moment. How did it come? Well that is the $1.000.000 question.
When we arrived in Romania we planned to set up traditional sailing charter on the Black Sea. For financial assistance with the purchase of the ship I interested a dutch private investor that provided a loan for 5 years. Immediately after arrival we ran already into big problems due to a difference in opinion regarding how to run a ship (..): Me with my 5 years experience on board of charter vessels and my training at the Enkhuyzer Zeevaart School and my investors of whom I doubt that he ever sailed before. It was clear that there only can be one skipper on board, so it went…. My Dutch investor started a legal procedure to get possession of the ship without informing me and since we are in Romania, the court simply honors the request without hearing the counterpart, me. As a result the ship was confiscated in November 2008 and by an auction organized in June 2009 sold to the investor. I was ordered to leave the ship and the ship officially came in the hands of my investor, the new owner according to Romanian law. On the 1st of October 2009 the Grethe Witting sank. Some suggest that it could have been because of the age, but we know better; if you do not know how to take care of a ship she will eventually can sink.
Grethe Witting, you brought us from Holland over the dangerous Biscay, along the African coast to Malta, led us through the Greek Archipel and finally delivered us safe in Romania. Now you are there, 7 meters below sea level waiting to be saved…. for sure this was not necessary.
We are now in court where I contest the decision of the Romanian court. That is the short version.
How will it be solved? That is probably a $2.000.000 question as they entire interior as well as all installations are destroyed.
To be continued….