In the evening of Sep 18, 2017, at 9.45 p.m. the “Walter”, 15 ts (EU-No.: 04803370), a container barge collided with a protection wire in the Uelzen lock of the Elbe-Side Canal at Esterholz.
The ship was coming from Fallersleben and was headed to Hamburg. The 56-year old master lost consciousness shortly before entering the lock so the wheelhouse was not lowered down upon entering the lock.
The cabin slammed into the wire and was torn off and destroyed. The master was fatally injured. The alerted fire brigade freed him from the debris, but he died after initially having been resuscitated. Two other crew members who were on deck remained uninjured.
The lock was closed for ship traffic during the night hours. The damaged tug was pulled out of the lock on Sep 19 at 9.45 a.m. by another tug, and the lock could be reopened at 11 a.m.