Ostwind

SPECIFICATIONS

COORDINATES

MAX DEPTH

RELIEF

SUNK DATE

25° 46.787' N

275

ft

14

ft

80° 03.410' W

83

4

m

m

June 01, 1989

ft

m

80

ft

24.2

m

RECOMMENDED MINIMUM TRAINING 

HISTORY

The Ostwind, German for ”East Wind,” was built along with her sister ship, Nordwind, in 1939. The German government ordered the construction of the yachts following a poor showing in the 1936 Olympic races. Designed by noted naval architect Heinrich Gruber, the70‐ ton vessel was 86 feet in overall length,17 feet in beam,and had a sail area of 3,076 square feet. She was constructed of mahogany planking over steel framing, with a teak, mahogany, rosewood, and walnut finish throughout the interior. Seized by the U S . Navy towards the end of thewar, she was transported across the Atlantic on the USS. Mercury (AK-42/AKS‐20). Renamed the East Wind, she was reconditioned at the BrooklynNavy Yard, N e w York, as the U S . Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, intended to use her as a training vessel for mid shipmen.The US. Navy quickly realized the cost to maintain the yawl would be too high, so she was put up for auction. In 1951, the East Wind was sold again, purchased by John Lyman of Miami. After living on the vessel for several years, the retired U S . Navy commander was forced to put her up for sale for $90,000 in 1966. Horace Glass eventually bought the boat and brought her to Jacksonville. Over the years, the East Wind suffered from neglect. In 1984,Charles Sanderson purchased the decaying yacht for $1, with plans of bringing her to Plymouth, Massachusetts, to be used as a military museum.The planned museum created uproar amongst the local community, and the East Wind remained at Jacksonville. Abandoned, the yacht soon became an albatross around the neck of the Jacksonville shipyard’s owner. Vandals stripped the East Wind on numerous occasions, while the American Nazi Party wanted to buy her in order to preserve the vessel. The Miami Jewish community acquired the former Ostwind, and its hull was rolled off a barge and sunk on June 4, 1989.The German yacht was resurrected, however, when it was learned the East Wind was sunk in 20feet of water on a coral reef. She was eventually raised, carried offshore, and re-sunk in deep water. Due to the influence of Hurricane Andrew, the exact location of the formerOstwind is unknown. As the hull was in poor shape when originally deployed, it is likely there is little left of the German yacht, and certainly nothing worth diving.It should be pointed o u t that much of the history attributed to the Ostwind in regard to Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party appears to be complete fabrication. There is no documentation supporting the assertions that Admiral Karl Donitz used the yacht as his command vessel, or that Ostwind hosted Adolf Hitler and his mistress, Eva Braun. It would appear the vessel’s association with Adolf Hitler was simply a publicity or marketing stunt, which was apparently quite successful.

LOCATION

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