Oil leak confirmed from French fishing boat stuck on rocks at Lankidden, Lizard
4.24pm: THE crew have now been taken off the stricken fishing boat Scuderia, aground off the Lizard, after concerns she is starting to list.
Attempts to re-float the boat will resume tomorrow, the coastguard agency said.
2pm: COASTGUARDS and an RNLI lifeboat have so far been unable to free a French fishing boat which ran aground off the Lizard last night.
A spokesman for the coastguard said low neap tides have hindered attempts to re-float the vessel Scuderia this morning.
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The boat is stuck close to the shore at Lankidden Cove, halfway between Poltesco and Coverack.
An examination of the vessel by representatives of the owners and a coastguard surveyor this morning has uncovered that fuel was leaking from one of five tanks carrying 20 tonnes of fuel.
An eyewitness has reported seeing oil up to a mile away from the site but the coastguard said only a small amount was believed to have escaped and it was contained.
A pollution group has been set up to discuss the response to the situation and is due to meet again this afternoon.
The Environment Agency has also been informed, as has Cornwall Council.
The coastguard spokesman said: “There are five fuel tanks on board and fuel is only leaking from one of them.
“It’s likely the crew will be asked to vacate the vessel this afternoon for their own safety.
“We are just trying to ascertain exactly how much has leaked, and also whether we need to bring in equipment, but it doesn’t seem likely as it is contained within a fairly small area.
“It will also be churned up and washed out by waves.”
However, Bill Frisken, a parish councillor from Coverack, said he had seen a lot of oil on the water this morning.
He said: “I was going to take my boat around but there is a lot of oil on the water near Black Head point (more than a mile away)
“I have seen it and one of the fishing vessels I had spoken to have seen it. It’s a north west wind which will take it out to sea.”
12:00: Attemps are now under way to re-float the stricken French fishing boat which ran aground off the Lizard last night.
Experts are also checking on any possible environmental damage from any oil leaking from the boat Scuderia.
She ran aground at Lankidden Cove, between Cadgwith and Coverack at 11pm last night.
A spokesman for Falmouth Coastguard said efforts were being made to head off a light oil slick but were hopeful the damage would be minimal.
It is unclear at this stage how much has leaked.
Earlier: COASTGUARDS are waiting until high tide to rescue a French fishing vessel from the rocks near the Lizard.
The boat - Scuderia - came aground on the rocks at Lankidden Cove, between Cadgwith and Coverack on the eastern side of the Lizard Peninsula, shortly after 11pm last night.
There were five fishermen aboard at the time and they called the HM Coastguards for help.
Porthoustock Coastguard Rescue Team and the RNLI lifeboat from Lizard were sent to the scene.
They are currently assessing the damage to the vessel and whether any pollution has been spilled into the sea from its fuel tank.
“They were stuck hard and fast,” said coastguard spokesperson Allan Loveday, based in Falmouth.
“The lifeboat would have towed them straight off the rocks but the tide was already dropping and it was too late.
“About 11.20am today is the next high water so we will have to wait until then to try again if it’s assessed as safe to drag it off.
“The trouble is, she could dump all her fuel into the sea if the damage is severe. They need to get the vessel off the rocks while containing any pollution.
“They could be stuck there quite a bit longer.”
Falmouth Coastguard is now liaising with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s Counter Pollution and Salvage branch, along with other agencies, to monitor the situation. Another attempt to refloat the vessel will be made at the next high water at 11.30am this morning.