Young seaman's body brought ashore after man dies aboard 'ghost ship'

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The body of a young seaman has been brought ashore after he died in an incident aboard a ship moored off the coast.

A major sea and air rescue operation involving a Coastguard helicopter was launched yesterday after the man fell from a height about the Brasschaat, a large vessel sitting a mile and a half (2.4km) off Tynemouth, North Tyneside.

One of the Belgian vessels.

One of the Belgian vessels.

The ship is one of a number of Belgian vessels which have been moored off the coast of North Tyneside for months, visible from the shore just outside the piers.

A Coastguard spokesman said it sent its Humber helicopter to the scene at about 2.30pm, and that crew members were winched off afterwards.

The RNLI assisted by taking North East Ambulance Service paramedics out to the ship.

An ambulance spokeswoman said there were reports that the casualty had fallen from a height. He was later pronounced dead.

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "The body of a young seaman, a Ukraine national, has been recovered and brought to North Shields on Friday, October 21.

"It would appear he has fallen from a height onto the deck of the ship and sustained fatal injuries.

"Police, coastguard, maritime authorities and shipping company representatives are working together to establish how this death occurred.

"His family in the Ukraine have been informed of the death and are being supported by the shipping company."

The force said a report was being prepared for the coroner, and enquiries are ongoing.

The Brasschaat is one of three ships that have become local landmarks after being anchored off the coast for months.

The mysterious ships with their distinctive bulk carrier structures have been stationed off the coast of Tynemouth since early July, and are waiting to be auctioned off.

All three of them have been inspected at the Port of Tyne and checked over for welfare, conditions and the pay of the crew.

The vessels, the Vyritsa, Brasschaat and Zarechensk, are owned by by Belgian company Sobelmar and currently run by India-based Bernhard Schulte Ship Management, and are waiting to be auctioned off.

The ships have become something of a talking point in South and North Tyneside as they sit mysteriously on the seascape, with some referring to them as "ghost ships".

Related: Mystery ships anchored off North East coast waiting to be auctioned off