Pieter Schelte on sea trials near the DSME shipyard in South Korea, where the ship was constructed.
Swiss-based Allseas Group has reportedly agreed to change the name of its Pieter Schelte vessel amid recent public outcry over the vessel’s namesake being a convicted Nazi war criminal.
Allseas and the giant Pieter Schelte, now in Rotterdam for final assembly, came under fire this week from Jewish communities in Britain and the Netherlands, as well as the International Transport Workers’ Federation union, who have all strongly demanded that the name be changed.
The Pieter Schelte, a unique and massive catamaran-like vessel built to remove decommissioned oil platforms from the North Sea, is the brainchild of Allseas’ founder Edward Hereema who named the vessel in honor of his Dutch father, Pieter Schelte Hereema, a marine engineer who is considered a pioneer in the offshore oil and gas industry. During WWII however, Pieter Schelte Hereema served as an officer in the Nazi’s Waffen-SS and was eventually convicted of war crimes for his involvement, for which he served over 1.5 years in prison.
Allseas has always stuck by the name despite year’s of criticism, however, according to a report Friday from the Associated Press, the company and Edward Hereema have now agreed to the name change over “widespread reactions”.
Royal Dutch Shell has also come under fire over the name because the company is already planning to use the ship to decommission the Brent oilfield located in UK waters.
“It has never been the intention to offend anyone,” the company said in a statement released Friday and obtained the AP.
The statement did not indicate what the new name might be but said that it will be revealed “within a few days”.
Further Reading: ITF Slams Allseas: ‘Pieter Schelte is a Nazi War Criminal, Not a Ship Name
Full Coverage: Pieter Schelte
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