Tug salvage operation 'going well'

Richmond and Twickenham Times: The risk of pollution from the Christos 22 is said to be very low The risk of pollution from the Christos 22 is said to be very low

A salvage operation to save a tug containing 200 tonnes of diesel from sinking off the coast of Devon is "going well".

Engineers and seaman are now onboard the Christos 22 and are pumping water from it. Divers have also been deployed to inspect and repair the hull of the damaged vessel.

The tug, which was travelling from Germany to Turkey, was damaged by a vessel it was towing as it tried to anchor a mile off Hope's Nose in Torbay on Sunday night.

Christos 22 had pulled into the coastline in order to check a problem with the tow when it was hit and began taking on water rapidly. The Moto Vessel Emsstrom, the decommissioned vessel being towed by the tug, became separated but has now been secured.

A total of eight crew members were rescued after the alarm was raised.

A Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokeswoman said: "The pumping out of water continues to go well. The situation is more stable and it was confirmed at first light that there is no report of pollution.

"Salvors are onboard the tug Christos XXII, pumping operations continue to go well. Divers now deployed to inspect and repair."

A spokeswoman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: "The tug Christos 22, damaged after the vessel it was towing collided into its side off Torbay yesterday, is now stable with risk of pollution very low.

"Attention has now turned to the towed vessel, an ex-German naval training ship the Emsstrom, which had been listing too heavily for salvors to get onboard.

"This vessel has now sunk, approximately 2.5 nautical miles east by north from Hope's Nose, Torquay, in 23 metres (75ft) of water. This ship is empty and is not a pollution risk."

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