Viking Burgundy - Avignon english summary
On 23 May 2008, at 22.00, the passenger vessel, the Saone, belonging to the Compagnie des Grands Bateaux de Provence, on its usual journey between Villeneuve-lès-Avignon and Avignon, with 77 passengers on board and 2 crew members, collided with the river cruiser, the Viking Burgundy coming from Arles and travelling up to Avignon with 135 passengers on board and 35 crew.
The collision produced material damage, mainly to the Viking Burgundy. The two vessels were able to reach the nearest quay under their own steam.
There were 16 slightly wounded, including two who remained in hospital for a day for observation.
After being checked by specialists, the two vessels were allowed to continue working, the Saone without needing much work and the Viking Burgundy with two cabins that were unusable and which were closed for the rest of the season.
Navigation was not interrupted.
The principal cause of the accident was the lack of communication between the two vessels, the skipper of the Saone having forgotten to signal that he was turning.
This communication could have been in the form of an audible signal or a VHF signal. It would be advisable to make the rules for ship to ship communication clear and to check that they are being applied.
Five recommendations were made at the end of the investigation :
two concerned the application of the rules of the road
two concerned communication to be made between ship when they cross and during manoeuvres
another concerned the procedures for attendance by the emergency services in the case of accidents and safety exercises.