Collision between fertilizer vessels shuts Germany's Kiel Canal

29 October 2013 11:50  [Source: ICIS news]

Image provided by Havariekommando(recast, clarifying the collision happened on Monday 28 October)

LONDON (ICIS)--A late-night collision between two fertilizer vessels on Germany's Kiel Canal left the world's busiest artificial waterway closed to all marine traffic on Tuesday morning as salvage experts gathered to discuss how to recover a cargo ship left listing at a 24-degree-angle.

Investigators from several agencies are analysing how LPG tanker Coral Ivory, which carries ammonia cargoes for Norwegian fertilizer giant Yara International, and the general cargo carrier Siderfly, loaded with several thousand tonnes of urea, collided at 2.56am local time on Monday on the canal that links the Baltic Sea with the North Sea.

Officials from the Central Command for Maritime Emergencies (Havariekommando), part of Germany's coast guard, told ICIS that the 116-metre long Coral Ivory was able to continue her journey to Uusikaupunki, Finland, but the 100-metre long Siderfly (Pictured. Source: Havariekommando), which was en route to Antwerp, sustained two large holes in her hull and immediately began to list and leak diesel fuel.

No-one was hurt in the incident which occurred during strong winds that have buffeted the area since the weekend, Central Command spokeswoman, Ulrike Windhoevel, confirmed.

"The Siderfly has been stablised by the anchor chain and ropes as well as two tugboats which are helping with the operation," she said. "The Kiel Canal is still closed but it could be partly reopened later on today once salvage teams and officials have held a meeting in the next couple of hours.

"This is a very busy canal and lots of vessels are currently positioned around the mouth of the waterway but this could be because they are taking shelter as we have very strong winds in the area."

She added the St. Vincent and the Grenadines-flagged Siderfly is understood to be carrying about 3,000 tonnes of urea and oil booms have been deployed in an effort to contain the spill.

According to the website of the Kiel Canal, the man-made marine corridor that cuts through the base of the Jutland Pennisula opened in 1895 and now handles around 35,000 vessels a year, making it the busiest artificial waterway in the world.

By: Richard Ewing
+44 208 652 3214

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