Rescued Polish sailing ship reaches safety in Britain

1st November 2010, Comments 0 comments

Dozens of teenage cadets on board a Polish sailing ship that became stranded off the southwest English coast finally reached land Monday after three nights of stormy seas, coastguards said.

The Fryderyk Chopin, carrying a 47-strong crew -- many of them cadets learning to sail on a tall ship -- had to be towed to shore by a fishing trawler after both of its masts broke in bad weather on Friday.

The ship was brought into Falmouth, in Cornwall southwest England early Monday, a spokesman for the coastguard said.

"The youngsters on board and some of the teachers were transferred by local passenger boat and landed ashore at Falmouth docks where they were met by the Falmouth coastguard rescue team."

The weary crew were met by Polish consular staff and local emergency staff, who will look after them while the ship is repaired.

One of the crew members, Maljolzata Michalkiewicz, 25, said: "We're very happy to be in Falmouth, if a bit tired."

She added: "The cadets were very brave ... They've not been put off sailing at all and want to continue their journey but we don't know yet what chance there is of that."

The ship was about 100 miles (160 kilometres) southwest of the Isles of Scilly, off the southwest English coast, when it was forced to call for help early Friday.

© 2010 AFP

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