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Probe into 'terrible state of ship' leaving Fowey Harbour

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: February 12, 2014

GOING NOWHERE: The Express 1 was towed into Fowey harbour last week after suffering engine failure, but then it was prevented from leaving again after the 'appalling conditions' on board were investigated. : Marcus Lewis

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AN INVESTIGATION was launched following the discovery of the "appalling conditions" on board a ship that was towed into Fowey Harbour after engine failure left if drifting dangerously in gale-force winds.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) launched the investigation after the Panamian-registered ship MV Express 1, crewed by Syrians with Filipino officers, was towed into the harbour on Monday, February 3.

After discovering that the crew members had no hot water or heating, and were inadequately trained, the MCA has prohibited the 7,000-tonne ship from sailing until the owners have made the necessary improvements.

A spokesperson from the agency said: "The MCA has issued a detention notice on the vessel Express 1.

"The detention was served for a number of safety issues, including concern over the crew's emergency training, the fire detection systems, and deficiencies in the crew accommodation with a lack of hot water and heating."

The notice prevents the livestock carrier from sailing until the improvements have been carried out by the vessel's owners.

Since the ship was towed into the harbour after it lost power off The Lizard, locals have been rallying together in a bid to help the crew.

Fowey harbour master Captain Paul Thomas said: "It has been reported to me that these poor guys are stuck on the ship in terrible conditions, but the locals are rallying around them and trying to help as much as they can.

"They are bringing them clothes, cooking them food and bringing things like shower gel and simple things to make their lives easier."

The mayor of Fowey, John Berryman, said he was not surprised by the response to the community: "Being a shipping town, it doesn't surprise me at all. It's the natural reaction of people born to the sea."

The Mission to Seafarers Fowey, which provides care for seamen and women in need, said it has been providing support.

Elaine Elliott, manager, said: "Our role is to make sure the boys are OK; that they are fed, watered and being paid."

The mission has provided tinned food, shower gels, warm clothes and shoes, along with free WiFi provision at the building. .

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