North West Wales

MV Carrier: Ship to be broken up for scrap on Llanddulas shore

Salvage crews are to break up and scrap the cargo ship which ran aground in rough seas off the north Wales coast.

The MV Carrier will be cut into "manageable" sections on the shore at Llanddulas, near Colwyn Bay, and sent to a scrap yard by road.

The owners confirmed contractors will start the demolition once they remove the ship's 24,000 litres of fuel. The work is expected to take six weeks.

Seven Polish crew had to rescued when the vessel ran aground last Tuesday.

Two lifeboats and Royal Navy and RAF helicopters were involved in the rescue during the night-time rescue in heavy seas.

More than 14,000 litres of fuel has, so far, been removed during low tides from the ship by workers from PGC Demolition of Heywood, Lancashire.

German shipping firm Reederei Erwin Strahlmann, which owns and manages the vessel, said a structural assessment revealed severe damage so the vessel has been "declared a constructive total loss".

It has awarded PGC Demolition a second contract to demolish and remove the vessel.

"This task is already under way, the work running in parallel with the fuel removal operation," said a company statement.

The company said the vessel will be cut into manageable sections on the shore and then taken by road to a designated scrap yard.

Map showing location of MV Carrier which ran aground in north Wales
A 100-metre exclusion zone around the vessel has been put in place

"The demolition of the wreck is expected to take around six weeks, but the pace of operations will be dictated by safety considerations and the weather at the scene," said the statement.

The ship, which is registered in Antigua and Barbuda and was carrying a cargo of stone, is now resting against concrete blocks on the beach at Llanddulas, which runs adjacent to the A55 which was re-opened on Thursday night.

The company added that the crew members, who were uninjured, are expected to be repatriated home "as soon as possible".

The vessel had used a nearby jetty to load its cargo of limestone.

Specialist vehicles and equipment have been taken to the scene via the coastal cycle path.

Fencing was erected around the site on Saturday.

Users of fishing vessels, water bikes and other boats are asked to stay away from the area.

A 100-metre exclusion zone around the vessel has also been put in place.

Police said anyone who breaches the exclusion zone would be committing an offence.

The operation to remove fuel from the vessel began on Thursday.

A "small quantity" of oil which was in use at the time leaked out of the 82-metre long vessel but the impact of the leak is expected to be "minimal", Environment Agency Wales said.

It is monitoring the work while the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is also involved.

An investigation into the incident has been launched by the Department of Transport's Marine Accident Investigation Branch.

It also led to serious problems for motorists using the A55 expressway.

Initially, the dual carriageway was closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.

However, North Wales Police reopened the road in both directions on Thursday, but imposed a 40mph speed limit.

The grounded ship, close to the main A55 coast road - pictured on Thursday
The grounded ship is close to the main A55 coast road

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