The 86 meter long self-propelled tanker-barge Piz Ela collided a barge on the Rhine near Eich, Germany. The Piz Ela wsa proceeding from Mainz with a cargo of caustic soda when it struck a barge loaded with gravel. The gravel barge sustained heavy damage and suffered water ingress at the bow. The Piz Ela sustained hull damage, but no release of the cargo. The local fire brigades were alerted and arrived on scene to find the gravel barge partially sunk. Dewatering pumps were deployed and kept the gravel barge afloat. Rescuers found the master of the Piz Ela was slightly injured by the collision and was taken to hospital for treatment.
Authorities were able to place temporary patches on both vessels. Another barge arrived to help lighter the gravel cargo. Reports state the master of the Piz Ela had no license and lack the necessary number of crew on board to operate. The tanker-barge was detained until a licensed master could take over the voyage. The water police has launched an investigation into the incident.