Russian cargo ship is refloated off Cornwall beach in 'horrific' conditions

A Russian cargo ship which ran aground off the southern coast of England has been refloated during high tide...

Posted: Dec 18, 2018 5:54 PM
Updated: Dec 18, 2018 5:54 PM

A Russian cargo ship which ran aground off the southern coast of England has been refloated during high tide, the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has confirmed.

The 180-meter (590-foot) vessel -- which was carrying 18 crew members -- got stuck on a beach in Cornwall just after 5:30 a.m. local time, with several residents tweeting eye-catching images of the mammoth ship glowing in the early morning light.

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The ship, called Kuzma Minin, ran into trouble off Gyllyngvase Beach in Falmouth due to extreme weather conditions.

The vessel will now be fully inspected, according to Mark Sansom, Falmouth Harbor Master. Sansom confirmed in a statement that the bulk carrier was successfully refloated at 14.08.

He added: "This has been a successful and well-coordinated operation involving multiple agencies. We would like to recognize the outstanding performance of the pilot and of all vessel crews involved in what was a very demanding incident."

Sansom said that the episode was no longer being treated as a "major incident" and that "there is no evidence of any pollution."

He continued: "We are now discussing the future of the vessel with the Secretary of State's Representative Maritime Salvage & Intervention and the vessel owners."

The incident came after weather forecasters issued a yellow warning of severe weather with 65 mph winds.

Local resident Nigel Kitto told the UK Press Association that the rescue teams on a lifeboat and helicopter operated in "horrific" conditions.

"The helicopter and lifeboat have been going in and out and it's incredible to see -- the skill of the helicopter pilot," he said.

Heavy rain and wind continue to lash England's southwest coast, with the UK's Met Office issuing a severe weather warning for the area. The rain is forecast to ease later on Tuesday.

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