English Channel collision boats return to shore

image copyrightRNLI
image captionThe Dungeness lifeboat was scrambled at about 03:00 GMT on Saturday

A tug and a barge involved in a three-vessel collision in the English Channel have returned to shore.

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

A Liberian-registered ship, heading to Genoa, Italy, collided with the tug and the barge the tug was towing.

The barge was towed to just outside Dover harbour at about 22:45 GMT on Saturday and the tug made its own way there. No-one was injured.

A collision left the crews "very shocked", the coastguard said.

The Dungeness lifeboat was initially sent to the scene early on Saturday, but was replaced by the Dover lifeboat and the Galatea, a Trinity House vessel, which towed the barge back to just outside Dover harbour.

The tug made its own way to Dover, before towing the barge into the south cruise terminal.

The cargo ship was anchored off the East Sussex coast near Newhaven.

Roy Couzens, the RNLI lifeboat operations manager at Dover, said "This was a long arduous service for our volunteer crew which thankfully resulted in no-one being injured."

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch is investigating the collision.

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