The Pamir

Germany, flag

The wreck

On August 10th, 1957 the Pamir left Buenos Aires for her homeward bound voyage with a full cargo of 3708 tons of barley (not loaded in sacks).

Journeys of the hurricane Carrie and the Pamir
Beginning of September a depression originated west of Africa and turned into a hurricane taking course towards the Caribic but suddenly started to alter course north, then east, then east-to-south east.

On the early morning of September 21 the Pamir was suddenly faced with strong winds from Northeast – showing the Hurricane Carrie would past behind the ship.

After the sails were removed quickly – the last ones being cut due to strong windforces and the urgency – the ship got upright again.

Around 11.00 o'clock local time the ship suddenly started to increase her list to port. XXX Messages (Urgency message, any traffic over radio has to stop) were sent and shortly afterwards SOS was radioed: "Here german fourmastbark Pamir at position 35.57 n, 40.20 w, all sails lost, lopside 35 degrees, still gaining, ships in vicinity please communicate, master". And then at 14.54 GMT "SOS, SOS, SOS from DKEF rush rush to us, german fourmast broken Pamir danger of sinking, master".

Several ships started to take course towards the Pamir, however at 1.03 p.m. local time she capsized and sank 30 Minutes later on position 35°57' N and 40°20' W, 600 miles south south-west from the Azores Islands.


The research, co-ordinated from the US Coast Guards cutter Absecon, lasted 9 days.

Search plan

50 ships and the planes from 13 countries participated.

The Pamir's lifeboat

The Pamir's lifeboat

Out of the 86 men in the complement, including 52 cadets, only 6 survived (4 seamen and 2 cadets).

Lifting up the lifeboat

Five men (K.-O. Dummer, K. Fredrichs, H.-G. Wirth, V. Anders, K.-H. Kraaz) were rescued by the Geiger the 24 september.

Lifting up the lifeboat

Un marin sauvé (Die Welt)

Un marin sauvé (Die Welt)

Aboard the Antilles

Another seaman (G. Hasselbach) was rescued by the Absecon on september the 25th. (Testimony).

The wreck had a large international impact.

On board the Geiger

The cadet Volkert Anders with his father
captain Walter Anders (Die Welt)

The cadet Volkert Anders with his father
captain Walter Anders

On board the Geiger

Four months later, the committee of inquiry in Luebeck did not yielded a clear conclusion.

One year after, the german Navy put in service the school sailing ship Gorch Fock.

The survivors

Hans Georg Wirth, Seaman

Volkert Anders, Cadet

Karl Otto Duemmer, Cook

Karl Kraaz, Cadet

Klaus Fredrichs, Seaman

Guenther Hasselbach, Seaman

Another survivor

Eckart Roch, Cadet, stayed in Buenos
Aires hospital, after a fall

Back to Casablanca then Hamburg by British Pathe (ID 134767)

Other video

Back to Casablanca by Time Life

Back to Casablanca then Hamburg by Point de Vue

The Captain Walter Anders

Walter and Volker Anders

Karl Dummer and Hans Wirth

Walter and Volker Anders

Klaus Fredrichs

Klaus Fredrichs

Karl Dummer

Guenther Hasselbach at Porto Rico

Germany Thanks U.S. Coastal Cutter Absecon by British Pathe (ID 164122)



The five seamen rescued by the Saxon were transferred
on the Geiger and landed in Casablanca

HMCS Crusader took part to the searches. Commander F.W. Bradley, CD, RCN. (1) (2)


Wreck site

The complement

A lifeboat in a church

The Pamir