Collision of a Polish barge in Germany
The Polish barge West Order 1, which sank following a collision on the Weser River in Germany, has been picked up from the bottom and towed to the quay in Nienburg.
The inland dry cargo vessel West Order 1 collided with the Dutch inland vessel Timbo on Sunday, 8 August. The Polish barge suffered an extensive crack and tear in the side, bow section of the hull plating, five metres long and one metre wide, which eventually led to its sinking. The Dutch company Royal Wagenborg, among others, was hired to retrieve the vessel from the bottom of the river.
According to local media reports, police believe the accident was caused by driving errors by both crews. The two men on board West Oder 1 and the captain of the other barge are being investigated for endangering shipping traffic. The crews of both vessels were sober.
Last weekend, a huge Triton floating crane and a Dutch dredger worked to take up the wreck of the West Oder 1. The cargo of more than 600 tonnes of maize in the flooded hold had soaked up water and had to be reloaded onto other barges. On Sunday evening the floating crane lifted the barge and stabilised it on the river.
West Order 1 was lifted and towed to Nienburg, and the temporarily closed section of the middle Weser was reopened to navigation.
Since the collision between the two vessels on 8 August this year, traffic on the Weser between Nienburg and Drakenburg weir had been blocked. This meant several days of “detours” via the Küstenkanal near Oldenburg and the Dortmund-Ems Canal. Some cargo was also transferred to trucks instead of being transported by water.