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France

Chemical tanker being towed to France after mid-ocean collision

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-10-08

A tanker carrying 6,000 tonnes of solvent was being towed to the French Atlantic coast Friday after it collided with a freighter some 50 nautical miles south-west of the island of Ouessant.

AP - A chemical tanker carrying thousands of tons of a gasoline product was being towed toward France’s northwestern coast Friday after it collided with another ship, the boat’s manager and maritime officials said.

There was no visible pollution in the water surrounding the 120-meter (131-yard) ship, which was built in 2008 and was sailing under a Maltese flag, said the Atlantic maritime prefecture in the French city of Brest.

The 13 crew members of the YM Uranus were unharmed and were evacuated by helicopter to a nearby air base.

The boat took in some water, but that inflow has stopped, and the cargo tanks - carrying a specialist gasoline product called heavy pygas - were not breached, international ship manager V. Ships said, confirming that there had been no pollution of the waters.

“I think the danger is behind us now,” V. Ships spokesman Patrick Adamson told The Associated Press. He said the company would cooperate fully with investigators.

The YM Uranus cargo ship has been carrying more than 6,000 metric tons (6,600 tons) of pygas. At midday Friday, it was about 100 kilometers (60 miles) southwest of the island of Ouessant, off the coast of France’s Brittany region.

A tow boat was bringing the ship toward the French shore in good weather conditions, but it was not yet clear what the port of arrival would be, said Christian Bonneau, a press officer for the maritime prefecture.

A French navy frigate also was on the scene, as was a navy helicopter.

V. Ships said the tanker vessel was struck from the stern by a bulk carrier heading the same direction, the Hanjin Rizhao.

French maritime officials said they believed the boats had collided but were waiting to interview the two ships’ captains to learn more. A team of investigators was on board the boat.

V. Ships said the Turkish-owned ship had been traveling from Porto Marghera in Italy to Amsterdam in the Netherlands.


 

Date created : 2010-10-08

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