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Salvage of historic Swiss steamboat has failed


The salvage of the sunken steamship "Säntis" from the bottom of Lake Constance has failed. Silvan Paganini, President of the ship’s salvage association, said on the news station, "BlickTV" on Sunday.

The salvage operation failed because the brakes on the cable winch, which should have lowered the salvage platform to the ship at the bottom of Lake Constance, did not hold, as Paganini explained. With the lifting bags filled with air on the platform, the ship should have risen later in a controlled manner.


The lowering of the platform worked well at the beginning. But then, as the live images showed, the ropes suddenly rushed into the depths. The platform then sunk uncontrollably and hit the sunken ship.

“It is sad that the cause of the project’s failure was the cable winch that had been built specifically for it,” said Paganini. Things looked bad underwater. Hoses are torn, beams are broken, and the recovery platform is unusable. For him and the association, which was founded in 2023 to salvage the steamboat, this is a “huge loss”. Now they have no choice but to clean up the “mess”.

The Säntis was sunk in May 1933, as it was no longer seaworthy. She lies in the middle of the lake between Romanshorn and Langenargen in Germany. Scrapping was ruled out at the time, as it was too costly. The 49-meter-long boat had been sailing on Lake Constance since 1892, and carried up to 400 passengers.

Adapted from German by DeepL/dkk/ac

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