Severn Sands to be towed to Instow Jetty

RUNAWAY ship the Severn Sands is to be moved from its temporary berth at Ashford at around 6.30 on Thursday morning. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said this afternoon (Tuesday) that attempts would be made to tow the derelict boat to the foreshore nex

RUNAWAY ship the Severn Sands is to be moved from its temporary berth at Ashford at around 6.30 on Thursday morning.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said this afternoon (Tuesday) that attempts would be made to tow the derelict boat to the foreshore next to the "Instow Jetty" and that the operation may take two tides to complete.

The 500-tonne former sand dredger broke free from Fremington Quay last month and drifted into the estuary, at one time causing concern that it might collide with the new Barnstaple bridge.

It was eventually recovered and moved to a temporary berth next to the Tarka Trail at Ashford.


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Yesterday, the MCA said that, once the vessel arrives on the foreshore, she will be ballasted down and an anchor deployed to ensure she will not drift anywhere else.

DRS Demolition of St Austell has been appointed as the contractor to de-pollute and dismantle the vessel.

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An approved oil responder has been sub-contracted to remove oils from the vessel, prior to dismantling.

The MCA said the operation could take about eight weeks, depending on the weather and tidal conditions.

A number of options were considered by the authorities about where to take the ship, which first broke its moorings at Fremington in March, 2007.

The MCA statement said: "After taking into consideration the sensitivities of the estuary and its users, it has been decided that the option least likely to cause damage to the environment and estuary users is to take the vessel on a short tow from its current positiont to a location next to Instow Jetty.

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