Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 30 October 2014

Bid to free grounded cargo ships

Two girls run in front of a cargo ship which ran aground after a heavy storm at Saler beach near Valencia (AP)

Officials in eastern Spain gave said they are struggling to free two ships that ran ashore on a stretch of ecologically valuable coastline.

The cargo ships Sunrise and Celia were run aground by powerful winds on September 28 south of the port city of Valencia.

The ships are carrying 180 metric tons of fuel, and officials are worried about oil and cargo spills. One of the ships is carrying empty containers and the other massive steel pipes.

The country's maritime authority said large dredgers arrived today to begin trying to clear a channel to sea after previous attempts failed.

Just yards inland is Albufera Natural Park, wetlands used by many of Europe's migrating birds. Around the rim of the park, farmers have for centuries cultivated rice prized for use in paella.

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