Skipper of Dutch passenger ferry killed in crash

AP News
Posted: Oct 22, 2010 1:25 PM
Skipper of Dutch passenger ferry killed in crash

Divers have recovered the body of the skipper of a Dutch passenger ferry killed when his vessel collided with a German freight ship on a busy waterway near Amsterdam, police said Friday.

National police spokesman Frans Zuiderhoek said the skipper is believed to be the only victim of the collision, which capsized the much smaller ferry.

"We're assuming that there was nobody else on board at the time of the crash," he said, adding that nobody in the area had been reported missing. Divers had combed the water for hours using sonar to find the skipper's body.

Zuiderhoek said a school vacation this week may be a major reason why the usually busy ferry was empty.

The incident took place Friday morning near the town of Nieuwer Ter Aa, roughly 6 miles (10 kilometers) south of Amsterdam.

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Dutch RTV television has identified the victim as 56-year-old Hendrik Plomp.

Zuiderhoek said two crew members of the German freighter Duisburg Ruhrort have been detained for questioning. He said breath tests show they had not consumed alcohol.

The cause of the crash was not known.