Detained ships smuggled from Cornish port

Two tugs detained in the Westcountry and condemned as unseaworthy have been smuggled out of port in the dead of night. An investigation has been launched.

Detained ships are smuggled from Cornish port

Two tugs detained in the Westcountry and condemned as unseaworthy have been smuggled out of port in the dead of night.

An investigation has been launched after the sudden disappearance of the two 151-tonne former Ministry of Defence (MoD) “dog class” boats, which are now thought to be bound for Africa. The 70ft tugs – Juliette Pride 1 and 2 – had been tied up at Newlyn, in West Cornwall, after major defects were found by surveyors from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency(MCA).

But the ships, which fly the flag of Tanzania and are owned by a Nigerian oil trader, somehow managed to slip unseen from the port early on Sunday.

MCA officials privately fear the boats may sink en route and there are concerns for the welfare of the Nigerian crew and any seafarers who may be called to their aid should they encounter problems.

“The tugs are in an appalling state,” one source told the Western Morning News. “There’s a good chance they won’t make it to Africa and could pose a pollution risk on the European coast.”

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Source: This is Cornwall.

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