Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

US media reacts to ebola scare

Read more

DEBATE

How to Stop Ebola: Center for Disease Control Confirms First Case of Virus in US (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

How to Stop Ebola: Center for Disease Control Confirms First Case of Virus in US

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

I will support Hillary Clinton, will.i.am tells France 24

Read more

FOCUS

Germany: Spread of radical Islam propaganda sparks concerns

Read more

ENCORE!

Corrie Nielsen: Up and Coming Talent at Paris Fashion Week

Read more

FACE-OFF

French Senate election: A new blow for Hollande

Read more

ENCORE!

Encore's Film Show: Julie Gayet, Denzel Washington, and cartoon madness

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Turkey's strategy towards the Islamic State group

Read more

Europe

Sailors rescued after cargo ship splits off French coast

© afp

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-02-05

Eleven sailors were evacuated by helicopter after a Spanish cargo ship slammed into a dyke and split in two near the French port of Bayonne on Wednesday as strong winds battered the Atlantic coast.

The local mayor's office said the boat had crashed into the dyke amid heavy seas near the town of Anglet on its way to Bayonne in southwestern France.

The prefecture for the Pyrenees-Atlantiques region said it had suffered a "complete electrical breakdown".

The rescue operation was complicated by lashing winds of up to 110 kilometres (70 miles) an hour.

Officials said a fuel leak had been detected and an emergency plan known as Polmar had been activated to deal with maritime pollution.

But Transport Minister Frederic Cuvillier, who rushed to the scene, said there was probably no risk "of massive pollution".

The prefecture said one of the sailors suffered minor injuries.

It said the Luno cargo ship, 100 metres (330 feet) long, had been empty.

Questions being asked

An AFP reporter at the scene described half of the boat as resting on the dyke while the other half was lying on the beach at Anglet – a favourite spot for surfers in France.

Local mayor Jean Espilondo questioned why the boat had been given authorisation to enter the port in bad weather.

"We know that the entry conditions for the port of Bayonne are very difficult," he said.

He added that the town would have to wait until the sea calmed down to make sure that none of the ship's reservoirs had been pierced.

The Meteo France weather service had earlier put nine regions on France's northern and Atlantic coasts on alert due to bad weather.

In Brittany, about 25,000 people were without power late on Tuesday after high winds brought by Atlantic storm Petra, which was wreaking similar havoc in southwestern England.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

 

Date created : 2014-02-05

  • ANTARCTICA

    Bad weather foils Antarctic ship rescue mission

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Strikes close main commercial ports in France

    Read more

  • ITALY

    In pictures: Costa Concordia shipwreck hauled upright

    Read more

COMMENT(S)