60 tonnes of wood in North Sea

A Norwegian cargo ship has created a significant hazard to ‘smaller craft and certainly leisure vessels’ in the North Sea.

The 79-metre Sally lost around 60 tonnes of wood in heavy seas yesterday 55 miles due east of Lowestoft.

Great Yarmouth Coastguard has been in contact with its Dutch counterparts regarding the wooden planks, which will be floating on or just below the surface.

Mario Siano, watch manager at Great Yarmouth Coastguard, said: ‘Individual planks, if they come adrift of even larger bundles, may not present too much of a threat to larger vessels in the regular shipping lanes, but impacting on smaller craft and certainly leisure vessels may cause significant damage.

‘We are working with the Dutch coastguard and their aerial surveillance aircraft in order to plot the location of the patches of wood as they move south on the tidal drift, although there is of course a danger in heavy seas the bundles could split and cause the wood to raft together creating a bigger ‘patch’.

‘We will continue to monitor their movement as the weather and tide changes. We will also maintain surveillance of the vessel until she has resolved her problem. We have also alerted the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s counter pollution unit to the situation.’

Subscribe to Yachting Monthly magazine for all the latest sailing news and reviews