Storm Damages Ship, Injures Master

Monday, February 04, 2008
Falmouth Coastguard last week were coordinating assistance to the `Horncliff, a refrigerated vessel, owned by Pluto shipping company, which has three injured people on board, one seriously, after losing 60 containers overboard in rough weather over 225 miles west south west of the Isles of Scilly.

The crew of the vessel, a 1992 built, 12,887 ton cargo ship which is flying the Liberian flag reported at 12.30 p.m. to Falmouth Coastguard that the vessel had lost all her deck cargo but was still managing to make her way in very rough weather. The Master of the vessel is seriously injured whilst two passengers on board require medical attention. There are a total of 31 people on board.

The vessels last port of call was Moin in Costa Rica and was heading for Dover, but may divert to Antwerp.

The vessels position is currently too far for a helicopter transfer and the crew have been asked to turn the vessel towards Southern Ireland to allow a UK rescue helicopter, to make the transit. The winds locally are north westerly, force 9 with showers of sleet and a heavy swell. The seas are currently measuring between 20 and 30 foot which will make any evacuation from the deck very hazardous.

It is believed the containers contain non hazardous material such as bananas and melons, although that has not yet been confirmed. The Agencys counter pollution team are currently modeling the drift of the containers in the present weather and seeking additional information on any further damage to the vessel.

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