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Last Updated: Friday, 22 February 2008, 16:54 GMT
Ferry blows into former oil rig
Drifting ferry (picture courtesy Matthew Darby)
Tugs were called out to pull the ferry back to berth
A North Sea ferry has broken free from its moorings on the River Tyne and collided with a decommissioned oil rig.

No passengers were aboard the King of Scandinavia, operated by DFDS, when high winds blew it away from the Port of Tyne on Friday afternoon.

The ship, which can carry more than 2,000 people, caused no damage to the rig, and was quickly towed back to a river berth, said DFDS.

The ferry carries passengers between Newcastle and IJmuiden, near Amsterdam.

A port authority spokeswoman said: "When she broke free she came up against the Northern Producer rig, but caused no damage.

"Tugs were immediately on the scene and pulled her back to berth."

John Crummie, UK managing director for DFDS Seaways, added: "Due to exceptionally adverse weather conditions, strong winds enabled the King of Scandinavia to slip its mooring line and berth, causing the vessel to collide with a decommissioned oil rig.

"No passengers were on board at the time and no crew members were injured. The King of Scandinavia has now been safely towed back to a river berth."

The ferry would not be sailing to IJmuiden on Friday as a result of minor damage caused, he said.

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