Unseaworthy Tugboats Sneak Out of UK Port
Two tugboats detained in a Westcountry fishing port and condemned as unseaworthy slip out unseen, believed bound for Africa.
An investigation has been launched after the sudden disappearance of the two 151-tonne former Ministry of Defence (MoD) "dog class" boats, which are now thought to be bound for Africa. The 70ft tugs – Juliette Pride 1 and 2 – had been tied up at Newlyn, in West Cornwall, after major defects were found by surveyors from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency(MCA). But the ships, which fly the flag of Tanzania and are owned by a Nigerian oil trader, somehow managed to slip unseen from the port early on Sunday, reports the Western Morning News.
The MCA confirmed yesterday that the boats had jumped detention but admitted there was little it could do once the ships had left UK jurisdiction and entered international waters. The missing boats are thought to have had their tracking systems turned off and Falmouth Coastguard has been unable to find a radar trace. A warship reportedly in the area that night saw nothing untoward.
Source: Western Morning News