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Depiction on a wood engraving from the 15th or 16th century

Cox was a severe form of punishment in seafaring .


A person is being keeled on the ship in the center of the picture. Painting by Lieve Verschuier

In its more common meaning, keel fetching - also kielen - refers to a severe disciplinary punishment that was common in seafaring until the 19th century , in which the punished person was pulled through a rope under the hull of the ship. The end of the penalties was pulled either transversely (i.e. from one wing of the main yard to the other) or fore and aft (i.e. from bow to stern ) under the ship's keel at sea . Careening ended due to the severe injuries caused by rough deposits such as barnacles and sharp-shelled barnacles on the hull created (see fouling ), often fatal. Among other things, the decisive factors were how quickly the rope was pulled and whether the person who was penalized could swim or dive himself in order to keep sufficient distance from the torso.

According to other representations, the convict was weighted down with weights in order to avoid this rubbing along the hull.

"If someone was found sleeping on his guard, he should be stolen 3 times."

- Johann Christian Lünig : Corpus iuris militaris, 1723

In the seafaring of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, keeling was considered the most severe of all corporal punishments, along with running the gauntlet .


  • To keel or keel a sailor . Entry in: Johann Hinrich Röding: General dictionary of the Navy in all European sea languages ​​with complete explanations . Nemnich, Hamburg & JJ Gebauer, Halle, 1793–1798.