“mentally Ill” Israeli Captain Removed from Ship at Halifax

Adam Graetz, 24 year old captain of the Israeli freighter S.S. Abraham Graetz, was last night brought ashore here by tug on orders of his father, one of the owners of the vessel. Port officials described Capt. Graetz as “mentally ill.”

Reports from Israel, on the basis of which the ship’s owners asked that the captain he brought ashore, said that the captain had radioed Premier David Ben Gurion and other government officials demanding that his father, H. R. Graetz, be appointed Minister of Communications and that the director of that Ministry be brought to trial, or he would sink the ship. When ordered by radio to ignore the captain, the radioman replied to Tel Aviv that the captain was enforcing his orders at the point of a pistol.

On the advice of a psychiatrist, messages were sent to the captain that his ultimatums had been accepted and suggesting that he fly back to Israel to attend the trial of the director of the Communications Ministry. After several messages were received in Israel the captain’s father flew to the United States in route to the vessel which is due in Halifax some time today.

(In New York last night, David Brodie, vice-president of the Dizengoff Line, which operates the Abraham Graetz, said that the captain had denied sending the messages, Mr. Brodie said he was inclined to blame disgruntled crew members. He added that some of the crew had in all probability resented Capt. Graetz’ recent handling of a strike situation when the vessel was in Haifa.)

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