Tyne & Wear

Stranded Farne Islands ship: Weather delays rescue bid

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Media captionA local RNLI crew got close to the stricken ship

An attempt to rescue a cargo ship which ran aground off the Northumberland coast on Saturday has been postponed because of bad weather.

The 262ft (80m) MV Danio is caught on rocks on the Farne Islands about 3 miles (5km) from the mainland.

The vessel has 27 tonnes of diesel fuel and 1,500 tonnes of timber.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said it was aware of the potential impact on the islands, which are home to wildlife and sea birds.

About 80,000 pairs of seabirds and a large grey seal colony reside on the islands.

It was hoped an attempt to free the ship, which was heading from Perth in Scotland to Antwerp, Belgium, could have been made on Monday, but MCA spokesman Hugh Shaw said weather conditions were too bad.

'Potential damage'

He said: "We have been monitoring the weather over the past 24 hours and the conditions have been getting steadily worse. The forecast is for the situation to potentially get even worse still.

"The master and crew of six are still on board and are getting a bit of shelter where they are, but we are closely monitoring the situation.

"We are very conscious of the wildlife situation with the seal and bird population.

"We know the bird population is going to increase significantly over the next few weeks, so we are doing everything we possibly can in these conditions to minimise any potential damage to the environment.

"We're now in a waiting game. We have all the resources and personnel in place and just need a break in the weather."

Seahouses Lifeboat Station received a distress call from the Danio's crew of four Poles, a Russian and a Filipino, at about 04:30 GMT on Saturday.

There had been concerns of environmental damage caused by oil spillages, but no leaks have so far been reported.

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