German officials work to tow fuel freighter
Vessel was grounded by storm that claimed at least six lives and stalled public transport
Shallow waters near a North Sea island were complicating efforts to dislodge a big freighter that ran aground on Sunday, German officials said yesterday, as the country began cleaning up after a storm that killed at least six people in Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland.
Railway operator Deutsche Bahn continued to deal with “significant damage” from downed trees on some rail routes.
Service would be limited in parts of northern Germany, it said, after being suspended in large parts of northern and central Germany on Sunday, stranding thousands of travellers.
In the North Sea, authorities were monitoring the
a 225-metre freighter that ran aground about 2.2 kilometres from the German island of Langeoog, for any signs of oil leaks, said Michael Friedrich, spokesman for Germany’s Central Command for Maritime Emergencies.
But plans to tow the freighter free during high tide were being revised after officials determined the waters were too shallow for the ship that would have done the towing, Friedrich said. Planning was now under way to lighten the ship’s load and to use ships with shallower draft for towing, he said.
“We’re working on a plan, but the towing will definitely not happen today,” he said.
All is well, says captain
The freighter’s captain had reported all was well on board and the ship’s crew of 22 was safe, he said.
The freighter was not carrying any cargo, Friedrich said.
Concern about an oil leak centred on 1,800 tonnes of heavy oil and 140 tonnes of marine diesel the ship had on board for fuel.
Elsewhere in Germany, Deutsche Bahn said rail traffic on a number of key routes would resume in the afternoon.
Federal Agency for Technical Relief workers dismantle scaffolding overturned by storm Herwart, in Berlin, on Sunday.