Tanker, container ship collide in North Sea

AP News
Posted: Oct 12, 2010 7:45 AM
Tanker, container ship collide in North Sea

A Greek tanker collided with a container ship 20 miles (30 kilometers) off the Dutch coast Tuesday and briefly leaked jet fuel into the North Sea, a Coast Guard spokesman said.

The crew of the Mindoro pumped the remaining fuel into an undamaged part of the ship, ending the leak, Coast Guard spokesman Peter van Oorschot said.

"We have a small slick in the water, but it is minimal and it is evaporating very quickly," he said, adding that it was unclear how much jet fuel had spilled into the sea. Offshore winds were blowing the slick away from the coast.

"The situation appears to be under control," he said.

Van Oorschot said an oil spill control boat was on its way to the stricken tanker as a precaution. A coast guard tug boat also was heading to the scene.

No one was injured on either of the ships, Van Oorschot said.

The Mindoro dropped its anchor and was waiting for experts to investigate whether it was safe for it to return to port. The tanker had a 16-foot (five-meter)-wide hole torn in its hull close to the waterline.

The container ship involved in the collision, the Cypriot-flagged Jork Ranger, was returning to port, but was not seriously damaged.

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Van Oorschot said it was not immediately clear how the collision happened.

Cyprus' Merchant Shipping Department said the 5-year-old Jork Ranger had 12 crew aboard, including Russian, Ukrainian and Filipino nationals, and sustained minor damage to its bow.

Cypriot and Greek authorities were discussing who will head an investigation since the collision occurred in international waters.

The Greek Civil Protection Ministry said the Mindoro had a 24-member crew - seven Greeks, 16 Filipinos and one Romanian. The Mindoro had set sail from England and was heading to the Netherlands.