Whilst most of the United Kingdom was enjoying an extra bank holiday on 29 April, maritime activity on the RMS service to and from the port of Goole was in full operation. On the afternoon tide the Wiebke D (1980/1,441gt) and RMS Riga (1984/1,296gt) arrived from Germany, while the Netherlands flag Tharsis (2003/1,435gt) was outward on the same service, but for Sturzelberg, which is near Neuss, Germany.
Due to the prolonged dry weather in Europe in April, the water levels on the river Rhine were very low, which meant smaller cargoes and more ships. Tharsis only loaded 900 tonnes in Goole on this voyage, mainly consisting of aluslabs made from recycled drinks cans, whichis one of the major cargoes carried on the service.
She then took on 600 tonnes of water ballast because of the expected weather on the voyage. Even then it was believed that 300 tonnes of the cargo would have to be discharged in Duisburg to allow the coaster to proceed further up the Rhine to her destination port of Sturzelburg.