Stricken Cargo Ship To Be Brought Close To Scilly

A stricken cargo ship, which suffered a fire in its hold last month, is to be brought to within 40 miles of Scilly on Friday for a safety inspection.

The German-registered MSC Flaminia, which is thought to be carrying a cocktail of toxic and explosive substances including nitromethane, phosphorus and refrigerator gases, has been held in the Atlantic around 300 miles southwest of the Islands by salvage tugs since the fire on July 14th in which a crewmember died and another is still missing.

It has the subject of intense negotiations between the owners, the salvage company and national authorities along the Channel.

Yesterday, the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency said the ship would be brought to a point 40 miles equidistant from Scilly, Land’s End and Lizard Point while the UK and French governments send a team of multinational experts on board to check the stability of the vessel.

The MCA add that the outcome of the inspection will enable them to determine if there are any further safety requirements before the ship transits the English Channel en-route to Germany.

The UK Secretary of State’s representative for Maritime and Salvage Intervention, Hugh Shaw says, “Much has been done to stabilise the ship since the accident last month. The inspection team will be able to board the ship and carry out an expert analysis and evaluation. Their report will be passed to all the coastal States along the intended route to Germany and will assist with their decision making and approval processes.”

On 9th August, the owners of the Flaminia, Reederei NSB, issued a statement highlighting their frustration that the vessel was being prevented from entering European waters for a safety inspection.

Helmut Ponath, CEO of the company said: “I consider it shocking that in this situation a ship under a German flag does not receive permission from the European countries to call at a port.”