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Another smash! Vintage sailing ship sinks after collision

June 12, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Over 40 passengers and crew were rescued, with five injured, when a newly restored 19th-century sailing ship, used for tours, sank following the latest collision between ships in Europe.

Vintage wooden sailing ship “No 5 Elbe”, rented out for harbour excursions, collided with the Cyprus-flagged container ship Astrosprinter on the Elbe River at Stade near Hamburg.

The accident, reported by TheLocal.de and other German news outlets, was the latest to hit European tourist shipping in a couple of weeks.

Last week five women, including Australians, were injured when the cruise ship MSC Opera slammed into a smaller tour ship and a canal wharf while visiting Venice. A few days earlier, a Viking river cruise ship collided with a sightseeing boat on the Danube River in Budapest, killing 28 people in the worst accident on the Danube in 50 years.

Before the accident: The No 5 Elbe

The latest crash happened on Saturday, sinking the 37-metre No 5 Elbe, which had just been restored at a cost of EUR 1.5 million (AUD 2.43 million).

After the accident: The No 5 Elbe

The No 5 Elbe had been totally renovated over eight months in a Danish shipyard, receiving new outer wooden planks and a new stern, DPA news agency said.

The following YouTube clip shows the wreckage, with locals discussing it in German:

MEANWHILE, investigations continue into the fatal Danube collision in Budapest. The BBC has reported that the captain of the tourist ship involved in the Danube smash was involved a similar collision in the Netherlands in April.

The Viking Sigyn was in collision with a tourist boat, the Mermaid, on the Danube, on 29 May. The Mermaid then sank, killing 28 people.

The captain of the Viking Sigyn, a 64-year-old Ukrainian named as Yuriy C, was later arrested. He denies any wrongdoing.

Prosecutors now say he was the captain of a cruise ship involved in a non-fatal crash in April in the Netherlands, when a Viking river cruise ship and a chemical tanker collided on the Western Scheldt near the Port of Antwerp , causing damage to both vessels.

Viking issued a statement insisting that while Yuriy C was aboard the ship involved in the Dutch collision, Viking Idun, he was not serving as captain at the time, the BBC has reported.

After the April collision, Viking confirmed that no passengers aboard Viking Idun were injured after colliding with the tanker Chemical Marketer while sailing from Antwerp to Ghent.

Written by Peter Needham

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