BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 10 March 2008, 16:55 GMT
Storm-hit tanker towed to safety
The Swedish registered Astral under tow
The Swedish registered Astral was at risk of coming ashore
A tanker which got into difficulty off the Isle of Wight when storms battered southern England has been towed to Southampton for repairs.

The Swedish registered Astral began dragging anchor about a mile (1.6km) to the east of the island and at one stage was at risk of coming ashore.

Several tugs had to secure the 11,000 tonne ship with 13 crew on board.

The Astral arrived in Southampton Water just off Southampton Dockhead at about 1545 GMT, said Solent Coastguard.

'Steering mechanism'

The vessel was heading for the Esso refinery in Fawley with a cargo of gas oil when it ran into trouble.

It is believed the ship's rudder was damaged after hitting a large shallow bank near Bembridge at about 0700 GMT.

A spokesman from Solent Coastguard said: "One of the refineries will disembark the cargo.

"When it went over the shallow ground it hit its rudder, which has damaged its steering mechanism."

A counter-pollution expert is expected to check for any leaks, he added.

Earlier, two coastguard tugs and an RNLI lifeboat, with six crew aboard, were dispatched in force 11 winds to help the stricken tanker.

Bembridge Lifeboat was launched to standby throughout the towing operation.



SEE ALSO

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific