T/S "Johannes Fritzen"

T/S Johannes Fritzen“, call sign: DCOK, 24.636 GRT.
In Service 03.07.62 in Bremen, sold 1975 as “Pampero 1” to Argentina. After engine room sea-water damage 05.04.81, the ship was broken up in Kaohsiung.
Seafaring time: 06.01.69 – 20.03.69,  30.06.69 – 09.08.69 06.08.70 – 29.01.71

The Johannes Fritzen was for its time an interesting and progressive ship, satisfying to its crew, carrying 14 so-called Cadets with a training officer on board.  For this up to date education they had a complete deck at their disposal with rooms, medical equipment, mess hall, and a classroom.  This was an ideal way to combine theoretical and practical education while on board.

The ship's propulsion system was unusual, turbine propulsion, like some other Fritzen ships.  12,700 PS (hp) for a ship with 36,000
tdw (Tons dead weight) brought us in ballast to over 17 knots, and fully laden over 15 knots.  Anyway, the bunker  needs were enormous.  I remember one bunker (fuel) telegram; the daily fuel consumption was 75-78 Tons.

Cabin of „Johannes Fritzen“. Typical for a ship of those years.

An interesting thing for me as Radio Officer was the so-called Narvik route.  At that time many ore carriers from the shipping firms of Frigga, Schulte und Bruns, and also Fritzen, were regularly sent to Narvik, the Norwegen ore port.  This port was visited frequently, and mostly lead directly to the berth, but with bad luck one must wait all day at the palisade.  Mostly we travelled from Rotterdam or Emden to Narvik.  Shortly after leaving, the "Old Man" (Captain) would come to the radio room and review the ship's radio traffic for Narvik.  The object was to determine if the ship should eventually sail short of Narvik, if another ship was placed better to take the freight. Sometimes it was possible to overtake another ship, then the Captain met with the lead engineer, and we were hearing, "increase engine speed."

Naturally the radio operator on the leading ship was not pleased.  He would have to write his ETA Telegram (ETA: Estimated Time of Arrival) at an inconvenient off-watch time and do what he regarded as unnecessary sending activity.

Maintaining the emergency battery during the harbour stop.

  One way was Norddeich Radio on the Nr. 1 frequency 2614 kc, or 8/DAJ frequency, 8768.5 kc, or on the radiotelegraph frequency.  He could effortlessly use radiotelephone or telegraph on the working frequency, and mostly came then a "private message" from a crew member the, "Truth of the Day."  The trips then led to Narvik or Kirkenes, and in summer often to Lulea, a Swedish port in the northern part of the Gulf of Bothnia.

In summer 1970 came an order for two voyages to carry ore from from Rio de Janeiro to Rotterdam.  Why send an old ore-carrier to Rio? It was the only mixed-cargo ship otherwise available.  In Rio we must often wait about ten days until a pier was available.  - A long layover is the dream of every seaman, and naturally we went ashore and had a wonderful time.  Long layovers are almost unheard of today.

January 1971 on the trip from Kirkenes/Norway to Rotterdam. The ice-coating on deck is enormous.

Radio station "Johannes Fritzen" in summer 1969. Radio assistant Alfred Rose is tuning the main receiver Siemens E566, left the MF-Main Transmitter. under that the modulator.