THE FIRST NON-GOVERNMENTAL MUSEUM SHIP IN TURKEY
When I first encountered her, the "Sea Wizard" was in the harbour like a jewel. She has an incredible story. The ship preserves her originality with all the components and nearly 200 artefacts and objects inside. We have recently implemented the “Sea Wizard Museum Ship” project in order to preserve and transfer our cultural heritage item to the future so that she is anchored in Bodrum Harbour like a living museum.
Built in 1937 in Germany on behalf of the Turkish Naval Forces as diving tug, T.C.G. Guven became a Turkish ship in the same year and joined the Turkish navy. Following the development in diving technology, the ship became a Fire Fighting Ship under the direction of the German advisers in 1946. After her conversion, she worked in this capacity until she retired in 1987. After this date, she worked for the company of H. Aydoğan Acarer.
In 1991, the company purchased her and restored her to her original condition. A licensed ship of the Turkish Commercial Fleet, she worked under the name of Deniz Büyücüsü (Sea Sorcerer) as a Fire Fighting Ship.
She was at service first in Fenerbahçe Marina in İstanbul. When she came to Bodrum, she served at Milta Marina for two years and then she moved to her present mooring place in the Bodrum harbor (in front of the castle), where she has remained for twenty-one years as a Fire Fighting Ship for the port of Bodrum.
The Museum Ship Project that was created in collaboration with Mugla Metropolitan Municipality, Bodrum Municipality, Bodrum Chamber of Commerce, IMEAK DTO in partnership with Bodrum Branch, Bodrum Castle (Underwater Archeology Museum) and the ship owner H. Aydoğan Acarer may be visited at her location in the vicinity of Bodrum Castle (Museum of Underwater Archaeology).
The ship model is in the Rahmi M. Koç Museum Collection, but it is in temporary exhibition in Bodrum Maritime Museum within the scope of the Museum Ship Project designed for her.
We summarized the details of the Museum Ship project in our mini-interview with Aydogan Acarer, the owner and protector of the Sea Wizard, for you.
How did the idea for turning the Sea Wizard into a museum come about?
The model of the Sea Wizard was built by Ali Kemal Denizaslani in 2011. I remember it very well that you had wondered whether it was possible to exhibit the model of the ship at the Bodrum Maritime Museum when we went to the Rahmi M. Koc Museum. You had loved the ship and made an offer to build a museum out of it. That is how the story started.
Since then no one had ever seen the inside the ship, except several friends of mine, and I had never thought of it as a museum. This is a ship that had been my hobby and life. It had been 21 years that she had embraced Bodrum. I accepted the offer to bring such value to Bodrum. I wanted to keep her alive after I am gone.
When I was 10 years old, I boarded the ship anchored on the coast of Istanbul Kasimpasa many times through my father. As a kid, I was wondering if this ship could be mine, and after years of serving in the army as a sailor, I followed my dreams. After the ship "TCG Guven" was decommissioned; I followed her processes, bought her when they put her up for sale, and renamed her Sea Wizard.
It was a floating and living ship. Her engine and generator were working. All the components she had were working. Moreover, it was a ship strong enough to respond to fire. It was equipped with powerful pumps capable of producing streams of up to 35 tons per hour. Now, in fact, it is the only firefighting ship in the South Aegean. This is why we will not touch her function of fire extinguishing. The ship will stay on this mission. Connected to the Bodrum Naval Museum with the definition of “Additional exhibition space” she will be open to visitors as a “Museum Ship” during certain visiting hours.
The Sea Wizard preserves its originality with nearly 200 artefacts and objects. Could you talk about these original parts?
Inside the ship, there are parts that were inherited from the ship herself, and from my family. All the objects got together and now are blended on the ship. All parts are maintained every year. For instance, the spots are still working. In the Navy, they are called marine searchlights. A Marine sends Morse code with a searchlight and speaks this way. At the moment, it is in perfect working condition. I have never changed the winch. I could have replaced it with an advanced mechanical winch. Yet, it still stands just like the way German engineers produced it. It is a hand-powered machine.
This winch was built by the Germans for our navy as Turkey's first Diving Ship in order to launch divers into and out of the water, is that right?
She is the first “Mancorna Ship” meaning the first "Diving Support Vessel" in navy history. Each of those diving suits weighs about 80-100 kilograms. An average of 200 kg of weight gets on a swing made of iron and is released into the sea from the portside. The same way it is used to get one out of the water too. The main machine required maintenance just once. It weighs 1200 kilos. You can guess its power.
Where does the name Sea Wizard come from?
I was inspired by a book called The Sea Wizard. Its story is very interesting. In 1983 I had a boat called the Sea Wizard. The name of the company owned by me is Ocean Shipping.
I read a novel called "Hungry as the Sea". It is a novel by Wilbur Smith. The protagonist of the novel, Alex, owns a company called Ocean Shipping and does the same job as mine. Towing, rescuing, firefighting... One of his boats is called the Sea Wizard. I got goose bumps! I thought, such a coincidence could not happen. He orders a new tugboat. Her name is Sea Wizard. At that moment, I said to myself that if I had another ship, I would name it Sea Wizard.
Name: DENİZ BÜYÜCÜSÜ (T.C.G. GÜVEN)
Port of Registry: Bodrum-1140
Length: 15.80 m
Width: 3.50 m
Draft Survey / Depth: 2.15 m
Gross Ton: 32.63
Main Engine: 1 Henschel (German)
Main Engine Output: 240 Hp 2150 RPM
Propeller: 4 Flap Bronze
Perennial Speed: 14 Miles Maximum – 10 Miles Minimum
Auxiliary Machine: 6.5 Hp 220 Volt