Kiel Canal Lock Gate Severely Damaged by Ship Strike, Full Replacement Needed

Damage seen to a lock gate and rail in a cham
Damage seen to a lock gate and rail in the Great Northern Chamber of the Kiel Canal. Photo courtesy Waterways Shipping Office Holtenau

A cargo ship struck a lock gate in a chamber of the Kiel Canal in Germany on Monday, causing damage so severe that the gate will need to be replaced entirely.

The Waterways and Shipping Office in Holtenau reports that a large seagoing vessel allided with the sliding lock gate in the Great Northern Chamber located at the north end of the Kiel Canal at approximately 11:45 a.m. on Monday, prompting its immediate closure.

The vessel involved is reported to be the UK-flagged MV Vectis Eagle. The gate was so severely damaged in the allision that crews will need to replace the entire gate. The allision also damaged the chamber’s buoyancy tank as well as the guide rail.

Work to fix the damage began immediately after the incident, and the lock chamber will likely not reopen until Tuesday evening at the earliest. It has been estimated that damages could reach into the hundreds of thousands of euros, according to reports.

The Kiel Canal is a 61-mile long waterway stretching from the North Sea at Brunsbuttel to the Baltic Sea at Kiel-Holtenau and is described as “the world’s busiest artificial waterway”.

Bow of the MV Vectis Eagle. Photo courtesy Waterways Shipping Office Holtenau
Bow of the MV Vectis Eagle. Photo courtesy Waterways Shipping Office Holtenau
MV Vectis Eagle.  Photo courtesy Waterways Shipping Office Holtenau
MV Vectis Eagle. Photo courtesy Waterways Shipping Office Holtenau
 Photo courtesy Waterways Shipping Office Holtenau
Photo courtesy Waterways Shipping Office Holtenau
Photo courtesy Waterways Shipping Office Holtenau
Location of the damage marked in red. Photo courtesy Waterways Shipping Office Holtenau