Belfast Telegraph

Oil move from tanker delayed

A damaged oil tanker which has been sheltering off the Copeland Islands will not have its cargo transferred for at least another two days.

The Genmar Companion has been anchored at the entrance to Belfast Lough since December 16 after developing a crack in its upper deck.

A spokesman for the Coastguard said: "There is a second ship, the BW Seine, heading towards the tanker.

"It is currently in the North Sea and it could take another two days before it reaches the vessel and starts to transfer the cargo."

Belfast Harbour cannot hold such a large vessel and its 54,304 tonnes of oil will be transferred by specialist company Fendercare Marine in the lough.

Transfer of the cargo could take between 24 and 36 hours.

Once the transfer is complete, the ship will sail into Belfast for repairs.

The tanker was en route from Rotterdam to New York.

The crack on the deck was discovered when the tanker was approximately 40 miles west of Tory Island, off Co Donegal.

Since then the Genmar Companion has been docked at the entrance to Belfast Lough.

Environment Minister Alex Attwood said he had been "keeping a close eye on the situation".

Belfast Telegraph

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