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Video: Crane Ship Hit During Maintenance in Rotterdam, Killing One

Saipem 7000 in 2006 (TeeGeNo / CC BY SA 30)
Saipem 7000 in 2006 (TeeGeNo / CC BY SA 30)

Published Feb 22, 2024 6:34 PM by The Maritime Executive

A working vessel hit a large crane ship in the Port of Rotterdam during repairs on Tuesday, knocking one worker into the water, according to local authorities. The individual remains missing and is presumed dead, according to local authorities. 

The giant semisubmersible crane ship Saipem 7000 is currently moored in Rotterdam for maintenance, and had scaffolding erected on board. The pier is at a well-known repair yard in the Botlek, a densely built-up inner harbor district. The crane ship is located in a narrow basin, next to a moored jackup drilling rig.

Early Tuesday afternoon, as maintenance was under way, a vessel made contact with Saipem 7000, causing a worker to fall into the water. Local emergency services deployed several diving teams as well as sonar and ROV devices in an attempt to carry out a rescue. The effort shifted to search and recovery after one hour, and the victim has not been found. 

AIS data provided by Pole Star appears to show that Saipem 7000 carried out several short-distance movements within the basin during this time period (1100-1500 hours local time), then returned to her original pier. 

The cause of the accident is not currently known, but local authorities say that a multiagency investigation is expected to begin shortly. 

Saipem 7000 is one of the world's largest crane ships, and can complete full installations of offshore developments, including topside placement and pipelay. It can lift up to 14,000 tonnes at a time with twin cranes, and it is DP3 enabled for propulsion and anchorless stationkeeping. 

Top image: Saipem 7000 in 2006 (TeeGeNo / CC BY SA 30)