Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Freight Vessel Loses Cargo In English Channel Endangering Shipping

Coastguard Warns of Floating Timber
Shipping News Feature

UK – NETHERLANDS – Skippers of vessels in transit through the English Channel were warned last night to proceed carefully after the 79 metre Cargo vessel “Sally”, a Norwegian registered freighter shed around 60 tonnes of timber bundles whilst shipping off the Suffolk coast during the gales prevalent over the past few days.

Storms of up to severe gale force 9 were predicted and the rough weather prevented the crew from venturing out on deck to try and secure the cargo after she hove to. The timber is bound into three tonne bundles which shifted and eventually spilled into the sea. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency issued a general warning and Mario Siano, Watch Manager at Yarmouth Coastguard said:

“Individual planks if they come adrift of even larger bundles may not present too much of a threat to larger vessels in the regular shipping lanes, but impacting on smaller craft and certainly leisure vessels may cause significant damage, hence our broadcast warning today.

“We are working with the Dutch Coastguard and their aerial surveillance aircraft in order to plot the location of the patches of wood as they move south on the tidal drift, although there is of course a danger in heavy seas the bundles could split and cause the wood to raft together creating a bigger patch.

“We will continue to monitor their movement as the weather and tide changes. We will also maintain surveillance of the vessel until she has resolved her problem. We have also alerted the Agency’s counter pollution unit to the situation.”