Fuel to be removed from cargo ship
Environmental officers are working to safely remove 40,000 litres of fuel from a stricken cargo ship which ran aground in rough seas, sparking the rescue of seven crew members.
The ship has leaked a "small quantity" of oil into surrounding waters, the Environment Agency said.
But the main fuel supply for the boat, which hit rocks near Colwyn Bay in North Wales on Tuesday night, is still thought to be intact, the Marine and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said.
Oil which was in use at the time has seeped out of the 82-metre long vessel but the impact of the oil leak is expected to be "minimal", Environment Agency Wales said.
A spokeswoman said: "A small quantity of gas oil has already leaked from the vessel, and officers are advising the MCA on how best to remove the remainder of the fuel without damaging the environment.
"If more fuel were to leak from the vessel, current predictions are that it would be confined to a small area between Colwyn Bay and Rhyl. As much of the escaping gas oil is likely to evaporate and be dispersed by the sea, its environmental impact is expected to be minimal at this stage.
"Officers have also been patrolling the beaches on either side of the incident checking for signs of pollution. So far, no traces of pollution on the beaches have been found."
An MCA spokeswoman added that the ship sustained damage to its starboard side. She said: "The 'Carrier' has been holed in three places on the starboard side. It's reported that the port side, where the fuel tank is located, is intact."
On Tuesday two lifeboats and Royal Navy and RAF helicopters were involved in the dramatic rescue of the seven Polish crew members after the vessel got into difficulties as the Welsh coast was battered by Gale Force Nine winds and five metre swells.
Five of the seamen were rescued by a Royal Navy Sea King rescue helicopter scrambled from RNAS Prestwick. But the aircraft developed a problem with its winch wire, forcing rescue co-ordinators to send out a second helicopter from RAF Leconfield in Yorkshire to collect the remaining two crew members.