Container ship briefly stuck on Dutch sandbank

19th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Dutch maritime authorities on Monday freed a large container ship which ran aground on a sandbank near the Belgian border, port authorities said.

The ship was stuck on a sandbank after an earlier attempt to pull it loose was unsuccessful, Zeeland Region Safety's Aart Oosten had told AFP.

A spokeswoman for local authorities in charge of rescue plans, Dianna Deunloo, later told AFP: "The boat is free and being sent to the port of Zeebrugge for an examination".

The 360-metre MSC Luciana ran onto a sandbank in the Westerschelde, the large sea-channel that connects the port of Antwerp with the North Sea, at around 8:30 am (0630 GMT).

It carried about 7,000 containers of "all kinds of merchandise", said Deunloo.

The Luciana was "towed by other smaller ships and there were no consequences for other ships", she added.

The ship was on its way from Antwerp to an unknown destination when it ran aground.

The Westerschelde, about 140 kilometres (87 miles) southwest of Amsterdam, is one of the world's busiest sea lanes, according to the Dutch government's website.

© 2011 AFP

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