A major blow for shipping through Germany’s Kiel Canal today after a cargo ship crashed into a floodgate as it entered the north chamber of the lock complex in Brunsbüttel, causing extensive damage that is likely to take weeks to repair.
The video below shows the moment of impact as the freighter crashed into the gate.
The ship is the Cypriot-flagged MV Saint George, a 131-meter general cargo ship. The vessel sustained damage to its bow. The bulbous bow of the vessel is believed to have pierced completely through the gate.
GAC Shipping reports that the Brunsbüttel Lock’s “Big North Lock Chamber” has been completely taken out of service as a result of the incident at the No.3 lock gate.
The accident occurred at about 12:20 p.m. local time on Friday.
The accident is the third such incident in recent months at the Kiel Canal, according to local media reports. Last November, a UK-flagged cargo ship struck a lock gate at the north end of the Kiel Canal resulting the entire gate needing to be replaced.
The Kiel Canal, or Nord-Ostsee-Kanal as it is known is Germany, is a 61-mile long waterway stretching from the North Sea at Brunsbuttel to the Baltic Sea at Kiel-Holtenau. It is described as “the world’s busiest artificial waterway”.