Surf Europe

Disaster Averted? Stricken Cargo Ship Off SW France Coast Towed West

News websites around the world have been reporting the plight of stricken cargo vessel Modern Express, who five days after making an initial distress call, had been evacuated, was listing some 50 degrees, being battered by swells up to 5m and 80km/h winds, and had come within miles of the surfing beaches of the Landes coast.

With news crews reporting live on national TV from Capbreton and Hossegor last (Sunday) night, this morning reports were claiming the Mimizan – Contis resorts further up the coast were the anticipated grounding place of the vessel.

However, possible disaster has been at least temporarily averted with the successful attachment of lines to the vessel from a Spanish tug, with the convoy reportedly headed west – out to sea – at a rate of 3 knots.

‘The priority is getting the vessel away from the coast’, said Louis-Xavier Renaux, spokesman of the French Atlantic Maritime authority.

With tow lines already having been snapped last Friday and Saturday, the latter incident injuring a member of the rescue team, cautious optimism currently prevails that a port of refuge may be reached before the next big hit of swell and wind, expected at the end of the week.

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