Collision, Rescue Off England's Stormy Coast

Credit: RNLI

By The Maritime Executive 2016-11-21 08:34:58

U.K. emergency services rescued 11 people from the general cargo ship Saga Sky on Sunday after it collided with a barge carrying rocks and started to take on water off the coast of Dover.

The vessel suffered engine and steering failure before colliding with the rock barge at the Varne Bank. As a result, the Saga Sky’s hull was damaged and she began taking on water.

Storm Angus was battering England's southern coast at the time. The 200 meter (650 foot), Hong Kong registered Saga Sky is now in a safe anchorage at Dungeness, after 12 of the crew remained on board to help move the vessel to safety.

Earlier, Coastguard Duty Commander Steve Carson said: "The weather conditions this morning are particularly challenging, and we have declared this a major incident," adding that two search and rescue helicopters were involved in the evacuation.

The port of Dover temporarily suspended ferry travel because of very high winds which the Met Office said had reached up to 80 miles per hour in exposed coastal locations.

Inspectors, including one from the Maritime & Coastguard Agency are being sent to the Saga Sky to assess the damage before the vessel is moved.

The Maritime & Coastguard Agency’s (MCA) counter-pollution officer and duty surveyor, as well as the Secretary of State’s Representative Maritime and Salvage are liaising with the U.K. Coastguard and the crew on the ship. There is no indication of pollution, although vessels on the scene and the MCA’s verification aircraft will continue to monitor the scene. 

RNLI Dover assisted in the rescue operations.