Timber from cargo ship could wash up on Worthing Beach

The warning comes almost ten years after 2,000 tons of wood washed up on Worthing Beach. Picture: Sarah Booker
The warning comes almost ten years after 2,000 tons of wood washed up on Worthing Beach. Picture: Sarah Booker
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Thirty cargo packages filled with timber could wash up on Worthing Beach after a Russian vessel shed its load in stormy conditions.

The cargo ship Mekhanik Yartsev reported to HM Coastguard the loss of 30 pieces of cargo 20 miles south of Worthing Beach at around 1am on Boxing Day during bad weather conditions.

The cargo packages are approximately three to four cubic metres each and contain timber. The packages are reported to have broken up, resulting in individual planks floating on the surface.

For the last 24 hours, HM Coastguard has been issuing navigational safety broadcasts every half hour to warn shipping of the lost cargo in the area.

The HM Coastguard helicopter based at Lee-on-the-Solent in Hampshire located the drift and direction of some of the lost cargo yesterday during a routine training exercise. Some of that lost cargo may wash ashore in the Worthing area, a coastguard spokesman said, and local authorities and the receiver wreck have been alerted.

This comes almost ten years after 2,000 tons of wood washed up on Worthing beach in January 2008.

The ship is currently berthed outside Portsmouth Harbour, and is leaning to one side but is stable.

Due to the current wind conditions - gale force seven, gusting eight, with forecasts for better weather tomorrow – it will stay there today before being transported to a dry dock in Southampton Harbour, where the rest of the vessel’s cargo will be safely removed.