Cargo ship leaking oil near Colwyn Bay after storm rescue

 

A stricken cargo ship which ran aground in rough seas, sparking the rescue of seven crew members, has leaked a "quantity" of oil into surrounding waters, the Marine and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said.

The main fuel supply for the boat, which hit rocks near Colwyn Bay in North Wales last night, is still thought to be intact but oil which was in use at the time has seeped out of the 82-metre long vessel.

Salvage and counter pollution experts for the MCA are working to remove the 40,000 litres of fuel from the ship.

An MCA spokeswoman said: "The cargo ship Carrier, which ran aground at 8.15 last night at Raynes Jetty in Llanddulas remains hard aground in the same location with damage to its starboard side.

"A quantity of marine gas oil has leaked from the vessel.

"The Carrier has been holed in three places on the starboard side. It's reported that the port side, where the fuel tank is located, is intact.

"Officers from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency's counter pollution and salvage branch are working with all agencies on plans to remove the fuel as soon as possible."

Last night, two lifeboats and Royal Navy and RAF helicopters were involved in the dramatic rescue of the seven Polish crew members after the vessel got into difficulties as the Welsh coast was battered by Gale Force Nine winds and five metre swells.

Five of the seamen were rescued by a Royal Navy Sea King rescue helicopter scrambled from RNAS Prestwick.

But the aircraft developed a problem with its winch wire, forcing rescue co-ordinators to send out a second helicopter from RAF Leconfield in Yorkshire to collect the remaining two crew members.

The crew had been taken by ambulance to North Wales Police headquarters in Colwyn Bay where they were given hot drinks and a change of clothes and transported to a nearby hotel, said North Wales Police.

Assistant Chief Constable Gareth Pritchard added: "This was a very difficult operation involving many agencies in very bad weather. Everyone is delighted that the seven crewmen were rescued without injury and they are safe and well."

The Royal Navy Sea King helicopter from HMS Gannet in Prestwick, Ayrshire, was first on the scene.

A spokeswoman said the crew were forced to leave one aircrewman on board the stricken boat following a problem with the rescue helicopter's winch.

The team rescued five stranded crew members before the aircraft developed a defect and Petty Officer Mike Henson was left on board with two remaining seamen.

All three were later rescued by the RAF helicopter.

It was Petty Officer Henson's first shift as a qualified search and rescue aircrewman.

HMS Gannet's duty observer, Lieutenant Angela Lewis said: "Conditions were extremely challenging.

"Sea spray from the waves was being whipped up to a height of about 60ft in places and we were in the hover at about 80ft, so it was quite nerve-wracking.

"We put Petty Officer Mike 'H' Henson down on the deck of the vessel and he then quickly packaged the first four members of the crew in separate winches.

"We dropped them off on the A55 to a waiting ambulance and returned for the remaining three crew and our Winchman. Unfortunately we were only able to complete one lift on this second run before the winch was damaged."

The Welsh Government said it was "closely monitoring" the situation and being kept fully informed of developments.

During the five-hour long operation the A55 was closed to allow emergency workers safe access to the vessel.

All-weather lifeboats from Llandudno and Rhyl were also launched at 8.30pm to offer assistance to the rescued crew, the MCA said.

Eyewitness Sophie Madeley, who watched the rescue from the A55, said the rescue teams had done an "amazing" job.

She told the BBC: "I have watched this all night, my high respect goes out to the pilot of the helicopter for the amazing work I watched him do, and also out to the crew for battling it through what has happened."

The ship, which is registered in Antigua and Barbuda and was carrying a cargo of stones, is now resting against concrete dolosse blocks on the beach at Llanddulas, which runs adjacent to the A55.

Members of the coastguard, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, ambulance and police service remained at the scene overnight along with North Wales Trunk Road Agency officers.

The MCA said the reason for the ship running aground was not yet clear.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Project Manager

Competitive: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsford a...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

IT Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London