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Rescuers tow capsized cargo ship before it hits French coast

Published 01/02/2016

The cargo ship Modern Express drifts off the coast of France. (Loic Bernardin/ Prefecture Maritime Atlantique via AP)
The cargo ship Modern Express drifts off the coast of France. (Loic Bernardin/ Prefecture Maritime Atlantique via AP)

Rescuers have begun towing a cargo ship that had been adrift for five days and was threatening to run aground in south-west France.

Broadcast images showed the dramatically listing, 164-metre Modern Express being towed by another ship via a cable on Monday afternoon. It was 28 miles off the French coast.

The rescuers' first goal is to tow it farther offshore before eventually looking for a safe harbour.

High winds and 20-foot waves made weekend rescue attempts impossible.

The crew on the Panama-registered vessel was evacuated after issuing a distress call last Tuesday. The ship is carrying 3,600 tonnes of wood and equipment.

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