The Last Commercial Sail Boat Ship
It’s amazing to see how far we have come when it comes to trade and travel. For centuries, trade, travel, and so much more operated almost entirely off of these majestic ships. Bright visions of immigrants from Europe coming to the New World and darker realities of slaves being carried to their fate are brought to mind when you look at these vessels. But with progressing technology and industry, these ships became an antiquated way to haul cargo and people. But The Pamir held out longer than most ships. The Pamir, a 305-foot sailing ship built in 1905 by the Hamburg shipyard Blohm and Voss, was sturdily built to transport bulk cargo and to endure harsh weather conditions. At the outset of this particular journey, weather conditions did not appear dangerous.
As she had done many times before, the “Pamir” transported a load of 7,780 tons of barley from Buenos Aires. The transport of grain, however, was not the only task the ship had to endure. Of the crew’s eighty-six men, only thirty-five were fully trained, experienced sailors. The remainders were cadets, as the Pamir also functioned as a training ship for the Merchant Navy. The worst was to be feared upon hearing the Morse code message “…..all sails lost…..list of forty-five degrees……in danger of sinking.” When the British coastal radio station, Portishead Radio, received this message at 16:01 hours, on the 21st of September 1957, it became utterly clear to the recipient that many brave sailors were fighting for their lives. The eighty-six men on board the training sailing ship “Pamir”, which was also carrying freight, were the senders of the message. The location of the ship was in the middle of a hurricane in the Atlantic, five hundred nautical miles southwest of the Azores, a group of islands. The condition of the ship was desperate.