Ship Hits Wreck in English Channel
LONDON (AP) _ A ship carrying more than 2 million gallons of kerosene struck the wreckage of a sunken car transporter in the English Channel on Wednesday but was freed after more than two hours, the British coast guard said.
The Turkish-registered Vicky struck the top of the submerged Tricolor at about at 7:30 p.m. and floated off the wreck shortly before high tide at 10:07 p.m., the Dover coast guard reported.
It anchored a mile north of the wreck, where a damage inspection was being carried out. The fact that the Vicky had sailed away indicated it might not have been holed, a coast guard spokeswoman said.
Antoine Goulley, a maritime spokesman in the French port city of Cherbourg, said the captain of the Vicky believes the vessel sustained only minor damage and that there was no risk of its fuel cargo seeping into the water or air.
However, authorities were unsure whether the Tricolor, which was carrying 2,000 tons of fuel oil when it sank, had been damaged further. A French helicopter was to fly over the site on Thursday to examine the hull.
The Tricolor, laden with BMWs, Volvos and Saabs, sank Dec. 15, after colliding in thick fog with a container ship about 30 miles east of Ramsgate, southeastern England, and salvage efforts continue.
The French coast guard was in charge of the emergency operation, he said. Three tug boats and a warship from the French navy led the operation to aid the 800-foot-tanker, which Clark described as an ``elderly″ single-hulled vessel, built in 1981, bound from Antwerp, Belgium to New York.