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Commonwealth Games 2002

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Monday, 4 February, 2002, 00:09 GMT
Salvage team will reinspect ship
An operation is under way to salvage the cargo ship
A salvage team are to reboard a stricken cargo ship to explore refloating it after it ran aground in stormy weather conditions.

The team will inspect the Kodima on Monday, two days on from when it was grounded on the Cornish coast after its crew were rescued in heavy seas.

Dozens of flood warnings are still in place, mainly in Wales and central England.

The weather over the last few days has been extremely violent

Doug Kempster
Environment Agency
Oil seems to have stopped leaking from the ship now, according to a spokesman for the Maritime and Coastal Agency.

He said aerial pictures suggested around half a tonne of oil that had leaked from the ship was dispersing in the rough surf.

The ship had about 450 tonnes of fuel oil.

He said a visit to the ship on Sunday found all four holds flooded but the hull tight.

Oil transfer and pumping equipment is being taken to the rescue teams.

But he stressed the weather remained the key deciding factor.

Previous attempts by a Royal Navy helicopter to drop the team had been hampered by bad weather.

More rain

But police were required on the beach to stop hundreds of people from taking away wood washed up from the ship.

The 16-strong Russian crew were winched to safety on Saturday from the Maltese-registered Kodima cargo vessel, which then drifted all day until running aground.

There was snow in Northern Ireland and more rain is expected to cause further flooding on Monday, especially in Wales and the West.

On Sunday evening, there were 28 flood warnings, plus three severe flood warnings in the Midlands and Wales.
More floods are forecast

Coastal defences had held well under the extreme conditions, a spokesman for the Environment Agency said on Sunday.

Doug Kempster, of the Environment Agency told the BBC that high winds were bringing in heavy rainfall as high tides subsided.

He said: "The weather over the last few days has been extremely violent weather.

"It's not typical weather. We have seen container vessels that cannot leave ports, ferries that ran aground, lorries being blown over, trees being ripped up."


Wales has been one of the areas worst affected by the heavy rainfall.

The River Usk burst its banks in Abergavenny, Gwent, on Saturday, and landslides meant homes were evacuated, although no-one was hurt.

The death toll in Britain from a week of gales and flooding has reached 12.

Most recently, that includes the French trawler captain Yannick Jego, who was swept overboard north of the Outer Hebrides in the North Sea.
River Usk, Abergavenny, Wales
Wales and Central England are worst affected by rain

The RAF rescued 18 of his crew on board Le Perrain, which drifted without power all night in 70mph winds and 30ft waves.

The French fishing vessel went adrift about 250 miles north west of the Outer Hebrides on Friday,

In Sussex, coastguards called off a search for a man who was swept into the sea from Brighton Pier.

A fisherman rescued by coastguards after being swept off a stone pier into the sea at Porthcawl, south Wales, on Saturday, remained in a critical condition in hospital.

And a total of 64 passengers of a Brittany Ferry from St Malo spent 27 hours stranded in Plymouth Sound waiting for seas to be calm enough to dock.

The BBC's Nick Thatcher at Whitsand Bay
"The biggest concern is how to avoid any leaks of fuel oil"
The BBC's Rob Smith
"Dozens of flood warnings are still in place"
Maritime and Coastguard Agency's Mark Clarke
"We've seen forklift trucks turn up to take the wood away"

Gale-hit Britain
Send us your experiences of the storms
See also:

03 Feb 02 | Wales
Mopping up begins after floods
03 Feb 02 | Scotland
Crew rescued from stricken boat
02 Feb 02 | Wales
Warning of more floods to come
01 Feb 02 | Northern Ireland
Storms threaten power supplies
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