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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 November, 2003, 16:47 GMT
Third 'ghost ship' arrives
Able UK Group Operations Manager Shaun Hughes looks Thursday November 27, 2003, below deck onboard the oil tanker Caloosahatchee
The interior of the ships have been examined by Able UK staff
The third ship in a so-called "ghost fleet" of toxic US ships has arrived on Teesside.

The Canopus docked on Thursday afternoon, with another, the Compass Island, due on Friday.

In stark contract to the arrival of the first vessel, there were no demonstrators to greet the latest ship.

The Canopus is the third ship to arrive at the Able UK dock in Hartlepool, which won the contract to dismantle the ships.

Campaigners say toxic chemicals and asbestos on the ships pose a risk and the Environment Agency has made several pleas for the ships to stay in the US.

But Able UK has said the ships are no more dangerous than current sea-going vessels.

Recycling work

A judicial hearing is due to be held in December to decide weather work can go-ahead.

Chairman of Able UK, Peter Stephenson, said if all goes well work could start after Christmas.

"The injunction stops us from carrying out any of the recycling works on the ships until the judicial hearing on 8 December.

"Hopefully everything will be cleared up on that day and we can commence work.

"But with it being so close to Christmas now we won't start work until after then."

The Canopus was designed to be a mobile garage, travelling across the world repairing submarines out at sea.

It is about the same length as the other ships but almost twice as high.

Oils and oily ballast water could cause damage to the marine environment.
Asbestos is a known carcinogen but is denser than water and non-soluble.
PCBs have been called "probable carcinogens" and have been linked with neurological and developmental problems in humans.
Mercury, lead, chromium and cadmium are highly toxic metals which accumulate in the body.

The BBC's David Shukman
"Toxic time bomb or a safe source of jobs? Today we had the chance to find out"

Second 'ghost ship' arrives
13 Nov 03  |  Tees
Asian draw for ship-breaking
13 Nov 03  |  Science/Nature

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