For the fifth time in as many months a motorist has ended up in the water in the harbour of Marseille after their GPS told them a ramp for launching boats was the way to an underwater tunnel.
The latest incident took place in the Old Port of Marseille, at the end of the Canebiere, the main street in the south-eastern French department of Bouches-du-Rhone when a 56-year-old motorist following his GPS drove straight into the harbour.
The incident took place yesterday morning shortly before 8am and the driver, who has not been named, survived with any injuries, although he was said to have been “shocked” and suffering from slight hypothermia.
He was rescued by firemen who pulled him out of the water after he managed to wind down his window while under water at a depth of 3 to 4 metres and swim back up to the surface on his own.
The accident is the fifth of its kind in as many months as GPS systems seem to believe that near the Marcel Pagnol quay, there is a road, but in fact, it is a launching slope for putting vessels in the water.
Local media report that the software systems appear to think the ‘road’ goes through a tunnel, when in fact, it simply heads into the water. The car, a red Citroen C5, was pulled from the water using a crane.
This latest accident led to three vehicles being used and eight firemen. An official who works with public security, Philippe Bianchi, told local media that the police headquarters and the road safety authority would be notified so as to ensure similar incidents do not occur.
The Old Port has been the natural harbour of the city of Marseille with the Antiquity. It became a primarily pedestrian zone in 2013.
The make(s) and model(s) of the GPS systems in need of a software update are currently unclear. Local media report it is the fifth time this has happened in five months.
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