BERLIN — The owner of the world-famous wooden boat wrecking yards where two huge wooden boats were discovered in the middle of Germany’s Baltic Sea, has pleaded guilty to a manslaughter charge.
Prosecutors say the owners, Thomas and Susan Schuessler, had been drinking when they opened the doors to the two-storey wooden boat at their factory in the northern German city of Essen in July 2015.
Prosecutors said Thomas Schuselers, a 64-year-old father of three, was a strong drinker and was seen “drinking on the premises” on the day the wooden boats disappeared.
Investigators say the wooden boat is believed to have sunk into the sea in March 2015.
Thomas Schusels said in a statement that he had been given a death sentence by the court in Essen on Tuesday for failing to take proper measures to protect his property.
Prosecutors will not file charges against Schuels.
They said Schuols had given false information about the circumstances surrounding the sinking of the wooden ships, but said it was too early to determine whether the accusations were true.
The wooden boats have been located by authorities for decades.
The Schuolss’ wooden boat yard is a historic landmark in the town of Krakow.
They also own the Schuessen Boatyard, where the boat that sank was recovered.
The Schuessers have been in custody since their arrest on Tuesday.
The case has drawn international attention, as a group of kayakers are calling for the removal of their wooden boats from German waters, the AP news agency reports.