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Cause of collision unclear: Honnef ferry out of service until further notice after accident

Cause of collision unclear : Honnef ferry out of service until further notice after accident

After a tanker collided with the Honnef ferry on Monday evening leaving six people injured, the search for the cause of the collision continues. No ferry service is possible until further notice.

The "Siebengebirge" remains moored on land for the time being: After the collision of the ferry boat of the Bad Honnef-Rolandseck car ferry service with a motor tanker on Monday evening, in which six people suffered minor injuries, the search for the cause of the collision continues. A spokesman for the Koblenz water police said in response to an enquiry from the General-Anzeiger that the investigators are currently still evaluating the electronic data of the two ships. According to GA information, the investigators do not rule out a steering error.

"The evaluation is still ongoing, so we cannot yet say anything about the cause of the collision," the police spokesman explained. From the data made available, he said, the speeds and the routes of the two ships before the collision could be discerned.

Around 6.15 p.m. on Monday evening, emergency calls were received by the police because the "Siebengebirge" had collided with an unloaded motor tanker travelling downstream shortly after casting off in Rolandseck. According to the police, six people were slightly injured, one of whom was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure due to shock. The police spokesperson did not want to give any information on where the tanker was coming from and what destination it was heading north to.

According to the police spokesman, the "Siebengebirge" was damaged at the ramp, the motor vessel suffered a leak, which was, however, above the waterline, which is why the tanker was able to motor itself to a shipyard in Cologne-Mülheim for repairs on Tuesday morning.

Since the collision on Monday evening, ferry service has been suspended. As the Bad Honnef ferry company Honnef Pool GmbH & Co. KG said on Tuesday afternoon in response to a GA enquiry, "unfortunately no ferry service is possible until further notice", said Sabrina Bockshecker of Fährgesellschaft Honnef Pool GmbH. It is not yet clear how long this outage will last due to the repair of the "Siebengebirge", which was put into service in July 2015.

The ferry connection between Rolandseck and the Bad Honnef district of Lohfeld - at river kilometre 640 - has existed since 1969. In July 2013, the ferry, at that time still the predecessor boat of the same name of the "Siebengebirge", had an accident during a crossing from Rolandseck in the direction of Bad Honnef shortly after casting off. Due to an engine failure, the ferry suddenly drifted on the Rhine without propulsion and, after an emergency anchorage, had to be towed by the fire brigade to the jetty in Bad Honnef by rescue boat. However, there were no injuries among the 55 passengers on board.

"Siebengebirge" sank in the North Sea near Texel in 2017

The "Siebengebirge" - though again its predecessor - made global headlines when the ferry, which was decommissioned in 2015, capsized and sank on April 30, 2017 while towing passengers from Germany to Finland west of the island of Texel. However, there were no persons on board. After investigating the cause of the accident in the North Sea, the experts came to the conclusion that the ship was not designed for maritime use. (Original text: Mario Quadt / Translation: Mareike Graepel)