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Archival item of the month: The tug PLANET

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Archival item of the month: The tug PLANET

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Since January 2023, the German Maritime Museum (DSM) / Leibniz Institute of Maritime History has been presenting a special treasure from the archive every four weeks in the "Archival item of the month" series. In January 2024, archivist Dr. Christian Ostersehlte puts the spotlight on the tug PLANET - a small powerhouse for its power.

 

As a link between maritime shipping and the port industry, tugs are still used today to assist in maneuvering larger seagoing vessels in narrower waters. North German Lloyd (NDL) in Bremen, founded in 1857, also maintained an extensive fleet of tugs from the outset in addition to its important overseas shipping operations. It initially served the company's own needs, but later also served external customers. At times, the NDL also had a fleet of over a hundred unpowered barges, which could also be moved by its own tug power.

In 1897, AG "Weser" in Bremen delivered the tugboat PLANET (length 18.76 m, 90 hpi, 8 knots), the smallest ship in NDL's bowser fleet at the time. In its more than six decades until it was scrapped in 1960, it mainly towed barges in the ports of Bremen and on the Lower Weser and was occasionally used for fire-fighting due to its fire-extinguishing and salvage pump.

Der Schlepper Planet im Einsatz.

The PLANET tugboat in action. Credit: DSM / Archiv

Der Schlepper Planet auf See.

The Planet tugboat in action.

Credit: DSM Archiv

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