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Crippled Panamanian cargo vessel brushes French coastline

Merchant vessel the “Modern Express” began to incline due to its loosely secured cargo.

Maritime experts avoided collision with the Bordeaux coast by attaching a tow line shortly before the ship’s crew were rescued by the French coast guard.

The ship itself which is carrying almost 4,000 tonnes of timber along with various types of excavating machinery was swaying at an angle of 50 degrees in the Bay of Biscay, just north of the Spanish coast. A joint mission by French coast guard officials, maritime experts and Spanish tug boats allowed a tow line to be attached to the boat shortly before all crew members were air lifted to safety. This allowed the Modern Express cargo ship to be safely towed into Bilboa port on Wednesday 3rd February.

In the days that followed Greenpeace protesters campaigned for sanctions to be imposed upon the vessels operator, ERO (European RoRo Lines). This is due to allegations of illegal timber products being transported into Europe on the vessel, EU officials however are yet to comment.

The French and Spanish coast guard are currently working together in order to retrieve the ships payload and remaining fuel.

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