Stricken ship off Sunderland coast may have hit ice

LISTING ... the cargo ship Molat off Seaburn, Sunderland, yesterday.
LISTING ... the cargo ship Molat off Seaburn, Sunderland, yesterday.
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A STORM-beaten ship struggles into harbour for urgent repairs with its cargo balancing precariously on deck.

The 28,300 tonne Croatian vessel, which was listing in choppy waters 40 miles out in the North Sea, may have hit ice before it was brought to Seaburn to be made safe.

Cargo ship the " Molat "

Cargo ship the " Molat "

The bulk carrier Molat had set off from Norrköping, Sweden, to Alexandria, Egypt, on Monday.

It had 20 crew on board when it ran into difficulties.

The 172-metre ship, which was listing by around five degrees, was diverted to the UK so its cargo, thousands of tonnes of timber, could be secured in Sunderland.

A spokeswoman for the Humber coastguard said: “A call was made to coastguard at 9.31am on Tuesday and the vessel was 38 miles east south east of the River Tyne.

“It was directed to the nearest harbour, Seaburn, and is currently moored there.

“It was carrying timber and the cargo was moving around due to the weather conditions.”

It was anchored at Seaburn before being berthed at Sunderland Port on Wednesday, when its load was made safe.

A marine surveyor was sent to check the vessel and its crew spent the night on board.

The spokeswoman added: “We are investigating the possibility that the ship hit ice and this caused the cargo to shift.”

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho