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September 7, 2019
Russian cargo ship runs aground off Cornwall coast
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Russian cargo ship runs aground off Cornwall coast

Cargo ship in daylight

Image caption

The coastguard hopes to refloat the vessel when the tide rises

A 16,000-tonne Russian cargo ship has run aground off a beach in Cornwall.

The Kuzma Minin grounded off Gyllyngvase Beach in Falmouth at about 05:40 GMT.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has declared a major incident and said the 590ft (180m) ship had a list of about five degrees.

There is no cargo on the vessel, which has 18 Russian crew on board. The MCA said tugs will be attached to the ship to help refloat it by mid-morning.

The Met Office had issued a yellow warning of severe weather for the area, with 65mph winds forecast.

Falmouth harbourmaster Mark Sansom said the coastguard was in the process of getting a pilot on the stricken ship by helicopter to assess the situation.

“Obviously the weather conditions are very poor but we are expecting them to improve and we’ll be looking for that opportunity to refloat the vessel,” he said.

The coastguard said there had been no reports of any pollution and an area around the ship had been cordoned off.

At the scene

By Naomi Kennedy, BBC News

Image caption

The coastguard is trying to get a pilot on board the stricken ship

The cargo ship is so close to the shore it seems almost as if you could walk to it or touch it. Hundreds of people have been prompted to take a look.

The rain is relentless, the winds about 52mph but the weather makes little difference at low tide.

Behind closed doors, those who declared this a major incident will be watching and waiting for high tide.

A helicopter has circled above, taking time to find the safest position to winch down a pilot to work with the 18 Russian crew.

One witness, Megan Hocking, said she was “thinking of everybody on the tugs and lifeboat this morning – terrible conditions for a rescue mission”.

Falmouth resident Jess Hughes described the morning weather on the Cornish coast as “extreme” and said it had been “horrendously windy” on Monday night.

“As you come over the crest of the hill there’s just this huge ship where there shouldn’t be,” she said.

Gyllyngvase Beach is a sandy tourist beach about 10 minutes from Falmouth town centre.

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Source BBC News

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