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Ship Hits Wreck in English Channel

January 1, 2003

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.

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.

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