Sunday 22 April 2018

Stricken grounded ship faces two week delay

The MV Danio, an 80m long ship which has run aground after it hit rocks on the Farne Islands off the Northumberland coast at 4.30am Saturday morning.
The MV Danio, an 80m long ship which has run aground after it hit rocks on the Farne Islands off the Northumberland coast at 4.30am Saturday morning.

Tom Wilkinson

AN 80m long ship which ran aground near a lighthouse in an important wildlife haven could remain stuck for another fortnight if it is not shifted tomorrow, an RNLI spokesman said.

The MV Danio was heading from Perth to Antwerp, Belgium, when it got caught on rocks in the Farnes Islands, three miles off the Northumberland coast, at 4.30am on Saturday.

The vessel, carrying timber, was not thought to be badly damaged and there were no reports of any fuel leak after she got stuck on the Blue Caps, close to the Longstone Lighthouse.

A meeting between salvagers, the National Trust which looks after the islands and pollution control experts has taken place this morning.

Ian Clayton, of Seahouses RNLI, which has been monitoring the situation, said: "They are waiting for more salvage equipment to be brought in and it is extremely unlikely that there will be any attempt today.

"However, they will be making a determined effort, I suspect, tomorrow evening. If they cannot get it off tomorrow, the chances are it will be stuck for another fortnight."

Mr Clayton said lower tides over the next two weeks would hamper any attempt to remove the Danio.

Storms were due to hit the area next week, so the skipper has filled the ballast tanks with sea water to make the vessel more stable, Mr Clayton said.

The Farne Islands are internationally known for the thousands of puffins who live there, as well as 6,000 grey seals and more than 20 bird species that breed there.

Heroine Grace Darling won national fame aged just 22 after she carried out a daring rescue with her father William, who was a lighthouse keeper on one of the Farnes, in 1838.

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