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Probe after three vessels collide

Marine investigators are examining how three vessels came to collide in the English Channel, causing one of them serious damage.

A cargo ship reportedly en route to Genoa in Italy was in collision with a tug and a smaller vessel it was towing at around 3am today.

The collision resulted in serious damage to the smaller vessel, but no-one was injured in the incident which happened about nine miles off Dungeness in Kent.

A Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) spokeswoman said: "The Dungeness lifeboat went out to the vessels and stood by them all night to make sure everything was okay.

"The Dover lifeboat arrived to take over from their Dungeness colleagues, while a Trinity House vessel, Galatea, also attended to assess the situation."

The cargo ship, which is reportedly a Liberian-flagged vessel, has gone on to anchor at Newhaven in East Sussex.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch is investigating the circumstances surrounding the collision, the MCA spokeswoman said.

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