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Published: Sun, July 02, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Ships Collide in the Dover Strait

Ships Collide in the Dover Strait

Lifeboats were launched on Saturday to assist the two Hong Kong registered vessels - an oil tanker and cargo ship - that collided in the English Channel.

The Seafrontier tanker, carrying 27 crew members and at least 38,000 tons of fuel, collided with the Huayan Endeavour at 3 am (0100 GMT/UTC) between the British port of Dover and Dunkirk, France.

Both vessels were reported to have come to a "complete stop".

Dover and Ramsgate RNLI lifeboats were sent to the scene, along with a coastguard helicopter - they have all since returned to base.

The vessels have Chinese and Indian crews on board and both were sailing under a Hong Kong flag.

The UK Coastguard Channel Navigation Information Service has continued to work throughout the incident and is ensuring the safe passage of vessels through the Dover Strait Traffic Separation Scheme.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency's counter pollution branch and its surveyor were working at the scene.

French coastguard teams were also sent to the scene and posted a picture of the damage to the tanker saying there was no risk of pollution and the ships' hulls were intact.

An oil tanker and merchant ship had hit each other. A French tug vessel is also traveling to the two ships.

A spokesman for maritime charity RNLI said the Seafrontier sustained "a hole above the water line and damage to the superstructure".

Both lifeboats were stood down at 5:44 a.m., by which time the tug was in assistance and the Seafrontier was taken under tow, according to RNLI.

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