Grounded Colwyn Bay cargo ship emptied of fuel


The remaining fuel from a stricken cargo ship which ran aground in rough seas has been removed in a clean-up operation.

Two lifeboats and Royal Navy and RAF helicopters were involved in the rescue of seven Polish crew after the MV Carrier struck rocks near Colwyn Bay, North Wales, last Tuesday.

The ship, which is registered in Antigua and Barbuda and was carrying a cargo of stone, is now resting against concrete blocks on the beach at Llanddulas.

A "small quantity" of oil which was in use at the time seeped out of the 269ft (82m) vessel but the impact of the leak was expected to be "minimal", Environment Agency Wales said.

The operation to remove the fuel from the vessel by Heywood-based PGC Demolition was launched on Thursday and completed last night.

PGC Demolition will also undertake the scrapping of the ship, owned by German firm Reederei Erwin Strahlmann, due to start tomorrow and scheduled to last up to 10 weeks.

A Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokeswoman said: "The operation to remove the remaining 24,000 litres of fuel oil, along with oily water and other hazardous materials from the grounded vessel Carrier, was completed yesterday evening.

"The vessel remains aground and is resting against concrete dolosse blocks on the beach close to the North Wales Expressway (A55). The owners of the vessel have declared it a constructive total loss.

"On Saturday, PGC Demolition were also awarded the contract to remove the wreck of the vessel.

"Their proposals to cut the vessel up on site and remove it for recycling have been approved by the Deputy to the Secretary of State's Representative for Maritime Salvage and Intervention, with work expected to start tomorrow and last for a period of up to 10 weeks."

Specialist vehicles and equipment have been taken to the scene via the coastal cycle path and, in order to maintain public safety and allow specialists unhindered access, North Wales Police asked members of the public to stay well away.

The authorities also asked that a 110-yard (100m) exclusion zone around the vessel be observed.

Police said anyone breaching the exclusion zone will be committing an offence under the Merchant Shipping Act 1995.