Kiel Canal Collision: MV Siderfly Damage Worse Than Expected, Waterway Remains Closed

Tugs remained braced against the MV Siderfly, preventing the ship from listing further. Photo credit: CCME
Tugs remained braced against the MV Siderfly Oct. 29, 2013, preventing the ship from listing further and sinking in canal. Photo credit: CCME

Authorities in Germany say it is still unclear when the Kiel Canal will be re-opened to vessel traffic after salvors determined that damage to the holed MV Siderfly following Monday’s ship collision is worse than originally thought.

In an update Wednesday, Germany’s Central Command for Maritime Emergencies said that an underwater survey of the listing coastal freighter revealed that the leak in the front of the ship is far greater that first thought, with the hole measuring some 5 meters by eight meters. Salvors will now have to pump out the cargo hold as quickly as possible to ensure stability of the ship.

As a result of this new discovery, authorities now say that it is still unclear with the Canal will be re-opened.

Meanwhile, removal of the ship’s remaining diesel fuel has progressed as planned.

As gCaptain has reported, the 100-meter general cargo ship “Siderfly” (carrying fertilizer) collided with the 116-meter gas carrier Coral Ivory (carrying Ammonia/fertilizer) just a few miles past the canal locks at Brunsbüttel, located in northern Germany at the mouth of the Elbe river.

SEE ALSO: MV Siderfly Tuesday Update with Photos

The collision tore two large holes in the port side of the Siderfly, causing the vessel to list heavily against an embankment of the canal. The Coral Ivory sustained little to no damage in the collision and the ship is currently in the port of Brunsbüttel. No injuries reported amongst the 28 total crewmembers of both vessels.

Authorities on Tuesday said they expected to the Canal to partially re-open late Wednesday morning, but insisted that its re-opening was dependent on the successful fuel removal operations.