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Major Collision Causes Canal Shutdown in Germany

By MarEx 2013-10-29 10:03:00

A collision early morning on October 28th left a cargo ship disabled and closed the Kiel Canal, one of the busiest waterways in the world. A cargo ship, M/V Sidefly and a LNG carrier, Coral Ivory, collided at approximately 3 am in the southern area of the canal near the Brunsbuttel Bridge.

The Coral Ivory sustained no structural damages, but the Siderfly received two large holes (approximately 3 meters by 5 meters) to its portside bow and, at last report was in danger of sinking. Two tugs were dispatched to assist in stabilizing the cargo ship while the LNG tanker was docked at Brunsbuttel bunkering station.

The Kiel Canal, which is near Hamburg, was shut down entirely and oil barriers have been deployed due to an unknown quantity of oil being released near the accident site.

There were a total of 29 crewmen aboard the two vessels, but there were no reported injuries in the crash. The Siderfly was carrying fertilizer en route to Antwerp and the Coral Ivory trades in ammonia, primarily in the Baltic Sea.

The Kiel Canal saves an average of 250 nautical miles instead of going around the Jutland Peninsula. The canal links the North Sea at Brunsbuttel to the Baltic Sea at Kiel-Holtenau. 

The reasons for the collision are still unknown and the canal will remain close for the foreseeable future until spill and salvage operations can be conducted.