Natissa - Givors english summary

At about 21:45 on 11 July 2007 the river-sea ship the NATISSA sailing under the flag of Saint-Vincent and the Grenadines, carrying 1,500 tons of bulk cement from Nice bound for Lyon ran aground on the left bank of the Rhône a few metres above the suspension bridge between Chasse-sur-Rhône and Givors (69) at marker PK 18,500.
No-one was injured and the accident did not cause any pollution. The material damage was limited but navigation had to be interrupted for three and a half days and the Arkema chemical factory in Pierre-Bénite, which could not be supplied, had to lay-off staff.
Navigation was re-established on 15 July at 12:00.

The direct cause of the accident was the insufficient and late straightening out of the ship after clearing the bridge.
The insufficient straightening out might have been due to two types of factors :
- a material factor linked to this river-sea vessel’s poor reactivity to steering controls ;
- a human factor linked to an inadequate manoeuvre by the pilot, such as an excessive steering angle.

Three preventive recommendations were made at the end of the technical investigation concerning :
- the vessel’s manoeuvring ability ; power and speed of manoeuvers ;
- measures to be implemented to re-establish navigation as quickly as possible after an accident.

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