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WALES: Grounded cargo ship had no chart.


A SHIP which ran aground on banks off a North Wales port last August threatening a sensitive conservation area, was navigating without a chart, an official report reveals.

The Antiguan general cargo vessel Thunder entered the channel to the port of Mostyn in poor weather and anchored off the port. During the night her anchor dragged, grounding in the Wild Road area.

The 1,500-ton coaster did not have the appropriate chart, according to a probe by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch.

The report states: "The vessel had navigated the Mostyn Outer Channel without an appropriate navigational chart.

"The master achieved this using a set of GPS (satellite navigation) waypoints and the position of a preferred anchorage, which had been sent to him in an e-mail by the ship's Mostyn agent."

There was no damage sustained by the vessel, no injuries to the crew and no pollution, but the master did not report that his vessel had grounded.

The report added: "During the morning the Mostyn harbourmaster received a report from Liverpool Coastguard that a vessel was aground in his area. He checked the position of Thunder and, content that she was lying in the Wild Road anchorage, took no further action.

"During the next high water, the master was unable to manoeuvre the vessel clear of the bank, and the prevailing wind and tide caused her to drag further inshore."

The Mostyn harbourmaster spoke to the master of Thunder and advised him of the most effective way to manoeuvre clear of the bank at the next high water, shortly after midnight.

Thunder floated free at 10am on 11 August. The report recommends port authorities to reinstate its recommended pilotage service from the North Rhyl buoy to the port and ensure all charts were amended to reflect the revised procedures.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jul 2, 2007
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