Kiel Pilot and Helmsman dies at tragic kanal accident

Kiel Pilot and Helmsman dies at tragic kanal accident

After the collision of the "OOCL Finland" and the Russian cargo m/v "Tyumen 2", (IMO: 8727848), on the Kiel Canal near Fischerhuette on Apr 14, the canal was closed for ship traffic until at least the afternoon.

14 April 2011 - 13:29

Kiel Kanal Pilot and Helmsman dies

A spokeswoman for the Joint Emergency command of federal and state governments in Cuxhaven confirmed the deaths of the two sailors. According to information of KN online it should be the pilot and the canal helmsmen. The two men are from northern Germany.

Only about 20 meters was the visibility, as the 150-meter-long British container ship "OOCL Finland" and sailing under the flag of the Russian Federation freighter "Tyumen-2", on which there were at the time when 13 crew members, at near the Green Credits High Bridge the village Beldorf (Dithmarschen) collided.

Although vessels of this size up to 15 miles per hour speed limit, the force of the collision was so great that parts of the bridge 116 meters long "Tyumen-2" and broke away on the deck of the "OOCL Finland" collapsed. The traces of the ships indicate that they are each other sideways "scraping by". With the cascading debris also one of the men were blown to death. The second victim was also on the bridge of the Russian ship.

Helicopter could not start in the fog

"It was around 7.45 clock when we were alerted," says one of the firemen of the local militia. "It was said at the outset that it would burn on a ship." Initial on-site saw the firefighters, with what they had for a disaster to do it. "It looked chaotic," said the fireman. The Central Command Cuxhaven took over operational command. Rescue workers from all over northern Germany toward the Kiel Canal were sent. However, not all rescuers arrived. Two rescue helicopters could not fly because of thick fog, the scene of accident.

During the freighter "Tyumen-2" rudderless in the channel was located at the crash site, ran the "OOCL Finland" on to the site about seven miles away Oldenbüttel. Later she continued her journey towards Rendsburg. There, water conservation police officers went on board to secure documents and statements to be incorporated.

Rescue workers were directly to the "Tyumen-2 out and put on ferries to the ship. On the freighter, there had been next to the dead and two seriously injured crew member and a light. "They could all be rescued quickly," says the spokeswoman for the Emergency command, Ulrike Windhövel. The men were taken to the hospital heath. Danger will not exist for them. The third injured person was on board.

The good 98-kilometer-long Kiel Canal was due to the collision, immediately shut down completely. Near the crash site drove the 121-meter product tanker Bainunah "into an embankment. The ship would otherwise have gone to the crash site. The tanker itself was free and was later able to continue its journey.Before the canal locks in Kiel, Brunsbüttel and accumulated many ships who wanted to start from there about eight hours long crossing between the North and Baltic Seas. Earlier in the afternoon was the scene of the accident are released. Oil or fuel in the collision was not withdrawn.

Kiel: One of the most difficult ship passages

"The average the ship was towed to a switch," says Ulrike Windhövel. These are special places in up to 162 meter wide channel that will enable larger ships to pass by each other. Later, the tug "Tyumen-2," which is out of control and drag to Brunsbüttel. Several pieces of wreckage of the freighter crashed in the collision in the channel. The bridge components were located in the eleven-meter deep waterway and marked for shipping. Divers will recover soon.

Even as the rescue and salvage work began to determine the cause of the accident. For the Kiel Canal are strict traffic rules and regulations. Large ships must have not only pilots as a consultant by the master, but also controllers on board, take the helm. They were already five years after the opening of the then Kaiser-Wilhelm-Kanal waterway has been introduced. The reason: about one twentieth passage of an accident happening. Most of the captains of their ship headed to the river bank.

The last serious accident there had been in October 2010. At that time the 102-meter freighter collided "Patria" in the dark with the tanker "San Benedetto". In the case of clear vision had prevailed.

Ship traffic is jammed

A sounding ship was required to search the crash site for debris. Should the channel be free, the shipping will be released again. This will happen according to the Water and Shipping Office Brunsbüttel probably no earlier than Thursday afternoon. Before the locks Brunsbüttel and Kiel has been the traffic jam. 

As a result of the collision on the Kiel Canal two more accidents occurred: two ships had to go into the bank because they could not stop in time.

The channel was blocked completely in the morning, before the locks Brunsbüttel and Kiel, jammed the traffic. A sounding ship was on his way to the accident site to search for wreckage. Everything should be free, will channel the released, said Fischer. Before the afternoon was not expected. According to him, contrary to initial reports came out of no hydraulic oil from the damaged vessel.

After the collision, a third vessel near the accident scene and a fourth ship had to travel a few miles away in the bank, because they could not stop. The container ship OOCL Finland "went further in Rendsburg. There should be making for the further investigations. Responsible for the investigation was the local water police and the Federal Bureau of Maritime Casualty Investigation in Hamburg, said the spokeswoman for the Emergency command.
MRCC Moskov:  Container vessel approached with high speed
(Reported by Odin.Tc Maritime Bulletin) MRCC Moscow reports some details on collision in Kiel Canal of Russian freighter Tyumen-2 and UK boxship OOCL Finland. Collision took place at 32 kilometer mark, Russian vessel was in waiting area, giving way to passing boxship. OOCL Finland approached at dangerously high speed, and struck Tyumen-2. Pilot and helmsman, both Germans, died after bridge was actually teared off and thrown in the water. 3 crew were injured – master, chief officer and AS, master is presently in a hospital. Vessel towed to 50 km mark. Tyumen-2 is to be towed to Elba port on April 15.

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