Listing Croatian cargo ship Molat 'may have hit ice'

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A Croatian ship carrying thousands of tonnes of timber which got into difficulties off the Wearside coast may have hit ice, HM Coastguard said.

The Molat, with 20 crew on board, began to list at around 10:00 GMT, 40 miles (60km) out in the North Sea.

The 28,300 tonne vessel left Norrkopping in Sweden on Monday and was destined for Alexandria in Egypt.

It is now anchored at Seaburn and will berth at Sunderland Port on Wednesday where its load will be made safe.

A marine surveyor is being sent to check the vessel and its crew will spend the night on board.

A spokeswoman for the Coastguard said: "We are investigating the possibility that the ship hit ice and this caused the cargo to shift."

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