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Probe launched after two ferries collide

PUBLISHED: 16:54 23 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:18 24 February 2010

By Victoria Knowles

COASTGUARDS are trying to discover the cause of a head-on collision between two ships off the East Anglian coast.

The crash happened in Harwich Harbour on Friday night and left one of the vessels unable to continue its journey until hours later.

By Victoria Knowles

COASTGUARDS are trying to discover the cause of a head-on collision between two ships off the East Anglian coast.

The crash happened in Harwich Harbour on Friday night and left one of the vessels unable to continue its journey until hours later.

The Sapphire and the Anglian Way, both classed as roll-on roll-off ferries, were travelling towards Ipswich and Belgium respectively when they were involved in a collision at about 10.45pm at Trimley Marshes, in the mouth of the river near Felixstowe Port, after thick fog had descended.

Neither vessel was carrying passengers and there were no injuries to crew members on board, who numbered 38 in total.

The Anglian Way was largely unscathed and was soon able to continue its journey to Belgium, but the Sapphire ran aground in the entrance to the River Orwell as a result of the impact.

It had to be rescued by two tugs, the Melton and the Bentley, before it could continue on its way to Ipswich.

Both vessels suffered superficial damage in the collision, but Thames Coastguard said there had been no pollution reported as a result of the crash.

A spokeswoman for Thames Coastguard added: "It is still unclear how the collision happened. No-one was injured and, after some delay, both boats made it to their final destination."

The spokeswoman said the Sapphire had been able to dock in Ipswich overnight and had sailed off to Ostend at 7.30am on Saturday.


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