On Tuesday afternoon 2 February, a ship collided with a ferry on the river Meuse near Steyl (municipality of Venlo, the Netherlands). The skipper of the ship has now been arrested. According to the police, the man was under the influence of alcohol. His identity is not yet known.
At around 2 pm, the skipper reported to the Rijkswaterstaat headquarters in Maasbracht that ‘things were not going well’. The 80-metre ship then drifted uncontrollably down the fast-flowing river, according to a spokesman for the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management.
At around 2.45 pm, the emergency services sounded the alarm. Due to the strong current, the ship collided with the ferry near Steyl. No one was injured.
The fire brigade reported earlier in the day that the ship became uncontrollable due to a technical problem. That could be solved after a while. The ship was then safely moored at the lock in Belfeld.
Police officers are now investigating whether the ship actually had any technical defects. ‘To this end, they are investigating the ship, looking at radar images and examining the maritime traffic,’ according to the police, who state that the investigation may take some time.
The Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate is investigating the damage to the ferry. According to the fire brigade, the ship had no hazardous substances on board. The ferry was taken out of service because of the strong current, a police spokeswoman said.
Local media report the ship lost one of its anchors in the collision. Rijkswaterstaat is currently trying to recover it as it could pose a threat to other ships.