Stricken Hartlepool fishing boat not a pollution risk, say experts

The Grenaa Star, grounded at Littlehaven  after colliding with the South Pier on its way into the Tyne
The Grenaa Star, grounded at Littlehaven after colliding with the South Pier on its way into the Tyne

A GROUNDED fishing boat does not pose a pollution threat coastline, say experts.

The Grenaa Star has been stranded off Littlehaven Beach, South Shields, since it hit South Tyne Pier on Tuesday.

The 46-tonne boat, which suffered damaged to her bow and began taking in water, remains on the spot today as attempts to refloat her failed because the tides have not been right in recent days.

It is hoped that the Hartlepool-registered vessel, which is attracting crowds of spectators, will be moved by Christmas.

As work on the stranded vessel continued yesterday, a Humber Coastguard spokesman said there is no danger of the surrounding waters becoming polluted.

He said: “Arrangements to move the boat are still very much ongoing, and are affected by a number of factors, including her age and the tides.

“Oil and petrol have been safely drained away and there’s no risk of pollution.

“It’s a case of monitoring the situation until the correct arrangements can be made.”

It is hoped that the damaged bow can be repaired well enough to enable the boat to be refloated, and for it then to be dragged up the beach.

The shallow water and low tides have, so far, made this impossible.

The skipper of the ship suffered head injuries during the dawn collision, and was taken to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary for treatment.

The two remaining crew members were uninjured.

A 53-year-old man has been arrested and bailed by police on suspicion of being a master, pilot or seaman unfit through drink.

The Grenaa Star began taking in water after crashing into the South Pier, at Tynemouth, at about 6.30am on Tuesday.

Maritime group Tyne Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) reported the accident to the Humber Coastguard and two lifeboats were also scrambled from Tynemouth RNLI.

The boat eventually drifted to Littlehaven beach at South Shields, and the RNLI crews used pumps to take water from the vessel.

But as the tide rose, it later became almost fully submerged and was expected to remain there until at least 3am on Wednesday, when attempts to tug it away during high tide would be made.