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Repairs carried out on stricken cargo ship Sea Breeze

By CG_Caroline  |  Posted: March 11, 2014

The Sea Breeze under tow off Mevagissey

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Repairs to a stricken cargo ship have been carried out after the vessel was towed to safety off the coast at Mevagissey.

The 87-metre Barbados-registered Sea Breeze started sinking 12 miles off the Lizard Peninsula on Sunday morning.

The ship started taking on water after her pumps failed 12 miles off the Lizard Peninsula on Sunday morning, prompting a full scale rescue operation.

All six crew members – all Russian nationals and some of whom sustained minor injuries during the emergency - of the cargo vessel were rescued by lifeboat crews from Falmouth and the Lizard.

The rescue helicopter from RNAS Culdrose attempted to pump out the water flooding into the Sea Breeze.

The Sea Breeze was taking 2,750 tons of limestone from Liverpool to Shoreham when it got into difficulties off the Lizard.

The details of what happened are not known, but the engine room flooded and the ships pumps malfunctioned and failed to clear the rising water.

The nearby Royal Navy patrol vessel HMS Tyne also came to the aid of the stricken ship.

While his crew were taken ashore, the captain remained on board the Tyne to help with the salvage efforts.

The Executive Officer of HMS Tyne, Lieutenant John-Paul Fitzgibbon said they were quickly on the scene.

“We were involved in marine enforcement operations 30 miles away,” he said.

“We received the call and we headed towards the stricken vessel.

"My job was to be the eyes and ears of the coastguard on the scene and to check any stability changes to the ship.

“The ability to quickly re-role from marine enforcement operations to life-saving and marine pollution prevention is indicative of the flexibility of modern naval ships and those who run them.

“My crew are highly trained to respond to such calls for assistance and I am thankful that we were in a position to do so.”

The vessel was towed to St Austell Bay, where repair work to its damaged hull got underway.

A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said the repairs carried out had stopped the flow of the water into the Sea Breeze's engine room.

"The vessel remains stable and is still in St Austell Bay. Negotiations are ongoing to take the vessel to a nearby port where it will undergo a safety inspection by our surveyors."

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