Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Tanker And Cargo Ship Collide In English Channel

A chemical tanker listing in the English Channel after a collision with a Polish cargo vessel was Tuesday being tugged to the port of Le Havre in northern France. French rescue teams were hoping to salvage the heavily-listing tanker 'Ece' before it sinks. All 22 crew members of the two vessels were airlifted to safety after the collision north-west of the Channel island of Guernsey in the early hours of Tuesday.
The Marshall Islands registered chemical tanker "ECE" after its collision with a Polish cargo vessel
Reporters said earlier that the tanker, carrying 10,000 tons of phosphoric acid, was 'in danger of sinking.' The vessel was leaking but there was no danger of pollution as phosphoric acid dissolved in the sea, British coastguards said. The cargo ship involved in the collision, the 23,000-ton Polish bulk carrier 'General Grot-Rowecki' was only slightly damaged. Its owners, Polish Steamship Company Polska Zegluga Morska, said Tuesday the vessel was continuing on to its destination, the port of Police in Poland.
The stricken chemical tanker Ece listing in the English Channel
According to reporters, the Maltese-registered carrier, which was built in 1985, had failed a number of safety checks during inspections in Canada, Norway and Belgium. The 'Ece's operator has not commented on the collision or the vessel's record. More than 140,000 ships pass through the English Channel each year, making it one of the busiest waterways in the world.
General Grot-Rowecki

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