A spokesman for the harbour office in Vallabregues, south of France, told local media it was a "miracle" no one was killed in the smash on Sunday.
Video shows the enthusiastic tourists cheering on the two Canadair CL-415s as they filled up their tanks from the Rhone River.
The pilots had stopped to top up in preparation to fight a 75-acre forest fire in nearby Collias.
Tourists were cheering on two Canadair CL-415s as they filled up their tanks from the Rhone River on Sunday
Spectators gasped at how close to their boat the first plane passed when it took off
When the first aircraft took off spectators gasped at how close to their boat it passed before gracefully sweeping up into the air.
However, the second pilot's departure was a little less sucessful.
Instead of following the first tanker up into the air the wing of the plane smashed into the barge, severing its mast.
The second pilot's departure was far less successful
The wing of the plane smashed into the barge and severed its mast
The cameraman appeared to drop their phone in shock at this point but the plane reportedly still managed to takeoff and landed later in Nimes.
According to the Fire Aviation Web site, the aircraft will be repaired and be put back in service.