Tonnes of timber litter sea off east coast

SEAFARING holidaymakers have been warned to watch out for floating debris from a freight ship which lost 60 tonnes of timber in rough seas.

Yarmouth Coastguard advised leisure boaters and marine traffic off the east coast of Lowestoft to beware of the lost cargo, which fell from the 79 metre Norwegian vessel ‘Sally’.

The shipment shed around 55 miles east of Lowestoft en route from Sweden to the UK.

The six-man crew were sailing in near gale force winds and rough seas, with squally localised showers.

The Coastguard has been in touch with their Dutch counterparts to establish the location of the planks of wood which, floating on the surface or just below, could present a threat to lighter, smaller vessels travelling to or from the continent.

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Mario Siano, Watch Manager at Yarmouth Coastguard, said: “Individual planks, if they come adrift of even larger bundles, may not present too much of a threat to larger vessels in the regular shipping lanes, but impacting on smaller craft and certainly leisure vessels may cause significant damage, hence our broadcast warning today.

“We are working with the Dutch Coastguard and their aerial surveillance aircraft in order to plot the location of the patches of wood as they move south on the tidal drift, although there is of course a danger in heavy seas the bundles could split and cause the wood to raft together creating a bigger ‘patch’.

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“We will continue to monitor their movement as the weather and tide changes. We will also maintain surveillance of the vessel until she has resolved her problem. We have also alerted the Agency’s counter pollution unit to the situation.”

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