Three vessels collide in English Channel

image copyrightRNLI/philly byrde
image captionThe Dungeness lifeboat was scrambled at about 03:00 GMT

A collision involving three vessels in the English Channel has caused "serious damage", the coastguard said.

Lifeboats were called at about 03:00 GMT after the crash, about nine miles off the coast at Dungeness in Kent.

A Liberian-registered cargo ship, heading towards Genoa in Italy, passed between a tug and a smaller vessel it was towing, causing serious damage.

No-one was injured in the crash. Lifeboat crews remain with the tug and towed boat.

The Dungeness lifeboat was initially sent to the scene, but has been replaced by the Dover lifeboat and the Galatea, a Trinity House vessel, which are trying to tow the vessels back to shore.

The crew of the tug is still on board, the coastguard said.

The cargo ship is now anchored at Newhaven.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch is at the scene.

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