Dock go-ahead at Port Talbot for ship after collision

The two ships involved in the collision off south Wales Both carriers have been examined following the collision

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One of two bulk carriers involved in a collision off the south Wales coast has been examined and will be able to dock to discharge her load of iron ore.

Jeff Neale, of Associated British Ports (ABP), said the Royal Oasis would dock at Port Talbot on Sunday night.

Surveyors are examining the Berge Atlantic, the second carrier in the collision on 0600 BST on Friday.

He said the cost was "horrendous" with "hundreds of thousands of pounds" already incurred through delays.

A Marine Accident Investigation Branch inquiry into the collision in Swansea Bay is expected to take some weeks.

Mr Neale, ABP's marine manager for south Wales, said: "It's very unusual for ships of this size for to come that close together, let alone to come into contact with each other."

The Panamanian-registered Royal Oasis, with a deadweight of 161,000 tonnes, was manoeuvring to collect a pilot when she came into contact with the 171,000-tonne Norwegian flagged Berge Atlantic which was at anchor eight miles off Mumbles Head.

Mr Neale compared it to a "car parking accident but on a grander scale."

Iron ore

He said following the assessment by surveyors for the ship's owners and insurance firms, the Royal Oasis had been passed fit to go into port.

The carrier has lots of dents and scratches to the plating above the water line, and she will be further assessed once she docks.

He added: "Early checks confirms that there has been no discharge of oil and the carriers are not taking on water."

Both ships are delivering iron ore for the Port Talbot Corus steel plant, which is a continuous process at the Port Talbot docks.

Mr Neale said the Royal Oasis would be able to berth once another carrier which is also delivering ore has left.

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