LIFEBOAT and RESCUE FROM THE VESTRIS

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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Here is a series as dramatic as the Mohawk photo I posted earlier is silly. This photo, taken from aboard the NDL's Berlin, shows a boatload of Vestris survivors about to be brought aboard, after having spent the night and much of the previous afternoon fighting against the storm which had proved fatal to the Vestris. This was taken on the lee side of the ship, and if one looks forward one can see that the sea was still high that morning.
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Jim Kalafus

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When I bought this lot of shots, I was initially disappointed, as I am sure the photographer was back in 1928, by their low contrast and poor tonal range. This photo is indicative of the overall quality of the group.
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Jim Kalafus

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.....which shows the rescue of the final survivor, Carl Schmidt, who had been in the water since the Vestris capsized the previous afternoon.
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Jim Kalafus

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Earlier in the day, two other drifting survivors had been saved (I believe by another ship) but Schmidt was the last to be located.
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Jim Kalafus

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The storm had scattered the lifebelt wearing survivors widely during the night, and the unpleasant possibility remains that others were still alive, but missed, after Mr. Schmidt was pulled aboard.
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Jim Kalafus

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Vestris survivors (separated by color) pose with a life ring as the Berlin resumes her voyage. The Berlin was sunk during WW2, raised and restored by the Soviet Union in the 1950s as the cruise ship Admiral Nakhimov, and lost with at least 388 passengers and crew after a 1986 collision which saw the by-then-ancient liner sink in about 8 minutes.
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I do not know if Carl Schmidt appears in this group.
 

Senan Molony

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Very dramatic pictures, Jim

Would you believe I have a set of originals as well, taken from an American naval vessel (the USS Wyoming I believe, I'm trying to remember offhand. 90pc sure it is her.)

They show survivors coming aboard on netting, and one or two show the American Shipper also lending a hand.

Speaking of "coloured" (the phrase used at the time) survivors, one of the pix shows a man who was extensively praised at the Inquiries for saving life.

How much did you pay for your Vestris report, Geoff? Am I right in thinking that you are talking about the red-cover Journal of Commerce report rather than the HMG Blue Book?
 
Feb 14, 2011
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Stellar photos Jim!

How many photos do you know of that exist of the Vestris sinking? I have seen at least 3- A couple were in Karl Baarslag's book "Sos to the Rescue' - I have always wondered if any photos were snapped from the lifeboat, showing the whole liner in her death throws......


regards



Tarn Stephanos