DORDRECHT – In an accident this afternoon on the Oude Maas at Dordrecht sure 5 people died, when a ferry was run over by a barge. In four or five other passengers are still being sought.

Around five o'clock this afternoon ferry departed Adri van Dordrecht Zwijndrecht. At the center of the Old Meuse, the ship was rammed by the tanker Innovation, met 1.500 Naphtha tons aboard. The ferry tipped over and was upside down in the water.

Accident between ferry and barge tanker between Dordrech and Zwijndrecht with certain 7 doden, wheelhouse pont “Adri”. Photographer: Hans van Dijk, National Archives / Anefo. Public domain

Everyone comes to the rescue

All emergency services were immediately in action, to rescue the crew of the ferry. Also freighters who happened to come close to the ship. According to a police spokesman was due to the rapid relief that no more casualties.

Seven passengers were rescued from the hold, because there had formed a bubble. Yet there was not enough air. One of the men was in the hold all stitched, when divers of the fire department arrived.


Japie Bakker (15) sat with some friends on the ferry back to Zwijndrecht. It was a conventional trip, but this time it all went wrong, He says the Telegraph.

"Just before we would pass the tanker, the engine failed. The captain tried to evade the onrushing Innovation, but because we lost velocity was the fatal blow inevitable. " (Japie Bakker, Telegraph, 07-10-1980)

The four end up in rum, which is a bubble. The door is completely terminal and they can not get out. Addie boyfriend tried to get out through the door under water, but he got stuck.

It took fifteen minutes before the four boys from the freed up. How many people are still missing is unclear, because it is not certain how many people were in total on board.


From the side meanwhile watching thousands of people from Zwijndrecht and Dordrecht to the rescue. They are the two ships tow the ferry to shore and then seven people to be saved over.

People at the Bomhaven (Dordrecht) their houses available for passengers. The injured are immediately taken to hospital.

Since the ferry was heading for Zwijndrecht, there was a big crowd. Among them were relatives and friends of the passengers. Also at the Dordrecht side sometimes emotions ran high, because there was much uncertainty about the victims.

Adri ferry in better times on the way to Dordrecht Zwijndrecht. Photographer: H. Gebuis. Regional Archives Drechtsteden.


The police are now busy with the investigation into the circumstances of the collision. According to state attorney J. Wessel must give a vat with another shipping. There are exceptions possible. The skipper was injured taken to hospital.

Mr.. J. Your, the owner of the ferry, says there is no question of a technical fault. There should be two people on board the ship, one at the helm, and one at the radar. Today was not the case.

Hoe ging het verder?

The skipper of the Adriatic is quite shocked and interrogations by police make the first day a lot after the disaster. The death toll eventually leads to seven.

The skipper worked 45 year on water, appears later during the trial. He's so devastated the accident he then gets help from a psychiatrist include. Boating he does not.

During the trial is not clear why the ferry skipper gave no priority to the tanker. There are stories about the man was watching a windsurfer and therefore saw the Innovation overlooked. There is no technical defect.

(This article continues below this advertisement)

The captain finally gets jail. The court in Dordrecht believes the man is punished enough and speaks a suspended prison sentence of 3 months and banned from sailing for three months. The prosecutor does not agree with this and will appeal. Op 23 maart 1982, eighteen months after the accident, The man is still sentenced to prison.

A few months later, Adri is back in service, this to the astonishment of the population Dordrecht. Not too long ship is permanently removed from service. A few years later the V.D.1 take the ferry Zwijndrecht Dordrecht on.


the years 80 – 1980

Reformatorisch Dagblad – Ferry by tanker rammed: eight dead

“Japie Bakker (15) after ferry disaster: "Near the tanker our engine failed””. “The Telegraph”. Amsterdam, 07-10-1980

“On appeal Three months required for collision with ferry”. “Nieuwsblad van het Noorden”. Groningen, 10-03-1982

Author: Dave Datema

published: 01-10-2018

story number: 69

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.