London, July 1 (IANS) Lifeboats were launched on Saturday to assist the two Hong Kong registered vessels — an oil tanker and cargo ship — that collided in the English Channel. None of crew, mainly Chinese and Indian, on board the ships was injured.
An oil tanker carrying 38,000 tonnes of hydrocarbon fuel collided with a cargo ship in the English Channel, which separates France from the UK. Both vessels, Seafrontier tanker and Huayan Endeavour, are registered in Hong Kong,
The UK Coast Guard called for the immediate launch of the Dover and Ramsgate RNLI all-weather rescue lifeboats following reports that the two ships with a total of 49 people on-board had collided and were at a complete stop in the channel, which is one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, Xinhua news agency reported.
With initial reports of damage to at least one of the ships and the location of the incident in the southwest channel of the busy main shipping lane, both RNLI rescue vessels raced to the scene, nearly 15 miles northeast of Dover.
A UK Coast Guard Rescue Helicopter was also scrambled to assess the damage to the vessels, the 183-metre-long crude oil tanker, the Seafrontier and the Huayang Endeavour, a 75,000-tonne bulk carrier.
Huayang Endeavour was en route to Lagos in Nigeria while Seafrontier was travelling to Puerto Barrios in Guatemala.
A spokesman for the RNLI said that both vessels suffered damage in the collision, with the Seafrontier having a hole above the water line and damage to the superstructure.
On reaching the ships, one of the lifeboats was tasked with standing alongside the Seafrontier while the second lifeboat stood ready to assist the Huayang Endeavour. A tug was also called to the scene from Boulogne, France.
A UK Coast Guard spokesman said: “Although both vessels have been damaged, there is no water ingress and no pollution.”