In the Wind Force 10 Museum in Cuxhaven, the exhibited artefacts tell of dramatic situations at sea, of human fates and the difficult and perilous business of sea rescuers and salvors as well as deep-sea fishing.
A leather boot, a knotted scarf: unspectacular objects of everyday life. And yet they are linked to a very special story. The garments belonged to crew members of the German submarine "U-51", which sank in July 1916 after being torpedoed in the Jade estuary. 31 young sailors lost their lives at that time.
The museum in Cuxhaven impressively illustrates that many interesting pieces of history are hidden under the sands of the North Sea. The German Bight is not only one of the busiest waterways in the world, but also a huge ship graveyard. Whether capsized in a storm, whether a victim of the difficult navigation conditions, whether sunk after a collision or due to the effects of war: usually not only their cargo went down with the ships, but also a wealth of personal belongings.
In the Wind Force 10 Museum, visitors can now trace the fates of these ships and the people on board. There is, for example, the Hapag steamer "Cimbria", which carried over 400 people to their deaths in 1883. Or the wreck of the "Kestrel", which was on its way to England with horses for mining work. The stories of her sinking and salvage can be experienced in the wreck museum as well as those of numerous other ships.
One exhibition area of the museum is dedicated to the perilous work of the sea rescuers. A trouser buoy and other rescue equipment vividly depict the efforts to rescue people from stranded ships even under dramatic circumstances. The work of the helmet divers, who helped to lift the remains of the sunken ships and thus also the exhibits of the Wreck Museum from the seabed, was also dangerous.
Another exhibition area deals with the history and work of deep-sea fishing - visitors can sign on to a ship and go on a great voyage.
Exhibits from the former Duhnen Ship Museum are grouped together in a special area so that Peter Weber's collection is still accessible to the public.