This is the story of Wladimir Rosik

Rosik - the captain of freighter BM 5247 from Bydgoszcz (Bromberg) flying the Polish flag.

Since 1965 he has been cruising our inland waters between Stettin and Rotterdam or Hamburg. That’s how he provided for his family back home in Poland and quite well so. On March 21rst 2003, Rosik wanted to drop anchor in the safe harbour of Schnackenburg during the night because his freighter is neither equipped with a radar nor with an echo-sounder. Unfortunately, he missed the entrance of the harbour due to high tide (water level was 4.6 m compared to normally 2.6m) and ran to ground on a meadow before the dyke. First, he tried to get free by himself. When he didn’t succeed, two big tugs from the navigation office came to his rescue which, however, weren’t able to pull back the 180-ton-heavy ship into the shipping channel. The water level quickly decreased by 17 cm so that swiftly salvaging the ship was no longer possible. A special salvage company calculated the cost for its rescue at
€ 80,000. The Polish insurance company refused to bear the cost as the freighter’s value only amounts to €40,000.

For safety reasons, Wladimir Rosik was required by the navigation office to stay on board which is understandable as many onlookers marvelled at the freighter on the meadow in the period following.

We from proaction heard about Wladimir’s fate in the media; news about his precarious situation were given more and more often and we wanted to help. Today, salvaging a ship is more expensive than at that time as the water level of the river Elbe is approx 1,30 and even normal shipping has stopped. At the beginning, Wladimir still got help from his Polish colleagues who supplied him with the bare essentials. But even that is no longer possible due to the low water level. Wladimir also had to abandon his hope to get free in autumn thanks to high tide. Caused by a low of the Elbe – historic for the month of November – experts do not hold out any hopes that a high tide of at least 4,60 will occur in spring next year. On the contrary: a severe winter will cause freezing of the water at a low level, and when it will thaw in spring, ice floes will be a great danger for the ship and its captain according to Hubert Finke from the district of Wittenberge.

During the coldest days in winter, the citizens of Schnackenburg and their mayor Andreas Koch want to accommodate Wladimir Rosik in parish rooms which are located visibly opposite the dyke. Wladimir accepted this offer with thanks, but he only wants to leave the ship if absolutely necessary. His greatest wish is still to spend Christmas at home in Biale Blota together with his family. So that his wish comes true the ship needs to get back into water.

Thanks to the initiative of Wolly Wessel (managing director of proaction Ltd, Köln)and the mayor of Schnackenburg, a donations account was opened. In the meantime, a special Dutch company has submitted an offer to salvage the 5.7m long and 7.6m wide ship. Approx € 100,000 need to be raised.
Should it be possible to collect this amount, the salvage company is able to float off the ship within 4 to 5 days following receipt of order. In such a case, Wladimir Rosik could celebrate Christmas Eve with his family at home.

We can only raise this amount with your help and the support of many others. Please donate any small amount on the indicated donations account.
Should more money be donated than necessary for salvaging the ship and conducting the safety check afterwards, we will give that money to the German Society for the rescue of shipwrecked people.

Please help and donate!

Many thanks

Wolly Wessel