Self propelled cargo barge Penhoet sank after allision with pillar of the Schelde-Bornem Bridge in Belgium. The vessel was en route from Ghent to Valencienne Weert, but deviated from the shipping way and crashed with the bridge construction. Following the collision, the barge started getting water ingress in fore section. The skipped altered course to the shore and intentionally grounded into sandbank. The accident was reported to local authorities and the Master, his pregnant wife and a child were evacuated from the breached cargo barge Penhoet. The coast guard and local fire department tried to refloat the ship, but failed to control the water ingress and the vessel completely submerged at the time of the high tide.
The ship traffic in the area was not affected, but ships are allowed to pass the site with caution. The bridge did not suffered any damages during the accident and traffic was allowed to continue.
The local authorities initiated investigation for the root cause of the accident. The area is under monitoring for leaks, but currently there is no report for water pollution. The attempt for refloating will be done again on low tide.
Self propelled cargo barge Penhoet is inland vessel operating under the flag of Belgium. The ship has overall length of 66.00 m, moulded beam of 7.00 m and maximum draft of 2.50 m.