Bertram Rickmers died as a result of a serious fall (archive photo) © Daniel Reinhardt/dpa
After a serious fall down the stairs in his own family villa, 71-year-old Bertram Rickmers died in hospital.
Hamburg – Bertram Rickmers, the country's most renowned ship owner, has died at the age of 71. On Monday night, Rickmers died as a result of falling down stairs in his own family villa, as reported by Bild and NDR.
Bertram Rickmers died in hospital after falling down stairs
According to Bild, the fall occurred on the 60th birthday of his wife Franziska.
As a teenager, Rickmers attended the renowned Louisenlund boarding school in Schleswig-Holstein and continued his journey on the "Peter Rickmers" after graduating from high school. In the course of time, the descendant of the famous shipowner dynasty (the museum ship "Rickmer Rickmers") expanded its fleet of ships.
In 2017, Rickmers, who holds a degree in economics, was in control of the Bertram-Rickmers Group with over 100 container ships and 30 special purpose vessels. He was a connoisseur of fine wines and fine cuisine and enjoyed spending time on sailing yachts.
The Rickmer Rickmers is now part of the skyline of Hamburg © Jonas Walzberg
However, Rickmers Holding stumbled in the wake of the shipping crisis from 2008 and experienced a spectacular bankruptcy in 2017, which caused turmoil in the industry. With 1.7 billion euros in debt, Rickmers lost its ships, and investors lost massive amounts of money. In the end, only 11.7 million euros could be returned to the investors. The role of "HSH Nordbank", which surprisingly stopped financing at the time, will continue to be reviewed, according to BILD.
Bertram Rickmers was 71 years old
Despite this setback, the ship's owner recovered and two years later founded a new company, the "Asian Spirit Steamship Company" (ASSC). Initially with only two cargo ships, then with eleven ships, Rickmers' business seemed to be picking up again.
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Bertram and his younger brother Erck Rickmers (59) were the fifth generation to run their respective companies. Last year, Bertram Rickmers officially handed over the management of the company to his son Rickmer Clasen (32). Something that only a few knew: Rickmers discreetly donated millions of euros, including to the UKE Foundation, the Maritime Museum, the "Stiftung Mittagskinder" and the St. Pauli Theater.
On Monday evening, May 22, 2023, ASSC Managing Director Frank Bünte informed employees of the death of their high-ranking ship owner: "We deeply mourn the loss of this passionate Hamburger, tireless ship owner, loving family man and committed citizen," according to BILD.
In addition to his wife Franziska, the 71-year-old is survived by his two daughters Anna Sophie, Lara, his son Rickmer Clasen and five grandchildren.