Volunteer crews from Falmouth RNLI Station along with Maritime & Coastal Agency personnel have endured 7 hours of tough conditions in force 9 gales after a Russian ship ran aground off the Cornish coast.
The Kuzma Minin grounded off Gyllyngvase Beach in Falmouth at around 0540 hours this morning.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency declared a major incident and said that the 590ft ship had a list of about five degrees.
An operation to try and refloat the vessel is currently being undertaken and coincides with local high-tides.
The vessel has 18 crew on board, but is not currently carrying any cargo.
A tweet shared on the @RNLI twitter page said:
“Our volunteers @FalmouthRNLI have been at sea since 6.15am assisting a 16,000 tonne Russian cargo ship which ran aground off Gllyngvase beach, Cornwall.
“Conditions are challenging with winds gusting a force 9, a three metre swell and torrential rain, as the crew wait on standby”.
Three harbour tugs are also attempting to attach a line to the vessel so it can be towed off of the beach.
The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for the area with winds of over 70 knots forecast.
Marc Thomas, senior coastal operations manager, said the coastguard was having to work “really hard to manoeuvre the vessels” amid windy conditions.
Mr Thomas said: “They’re obviously in danger too. It’s a real tricky, delicate operation they’re going through at the moment.”
Falmouth harbour master Mark Sansom said the weather conditions were “very poor”.
A Coastguard helicopter team had earlier winches MCA staff onto the vessel in order to get a better understanding of the crew and vessels condition.
Police have warned members of the public to stay away from the area where the ship has run aground.
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