Petrol tanker and bulk carrier in 'major collision' in English Channel

Ships collide in Dover Straits: Seafrontier and Huayang Endeavour hit each other as coastguard and lifeboats called out

Tanker loaded with 38000 tons of petrol fuel wan en route from Antwerp to Lagos, bulk carrier was ballasting from Ijmuiden Netherlands to Puerto Bolivar, Equador.

It was carrying around 37,953 metric tonnes of petrol and had 27 people on board on a journey meant to end in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala.

But British authorities in Dover have sent two patrol boats and two helicopters to the area.

The oil tanker Seafrontier was involved in a collision with another ship in the Dover Straits.

The vessels have Chinese and Indian crews on board and both were sailing under a Hong Kong flag.

Although both vessels have been damaged, the coastguard say there is no water entering either and no pollution leaking into the sea.

"Situation under control, hull intact, no risk of pollution or danger for traffic", said French maritime officials in a tweet.

With initial reports of damage to at least one of the ships and the location of the incident in the southwest channel of the busy main shipping lane, both RNLI rescue vessels raced to the scene, almost 15 miles northeast of Dover.

Nine crew were on board the Dover Severn class lifeboat City of London 2 and six on board the Ramsgate Trent class lifeboat, Esme Anderson.

An oil tanker and merchant ship had hit each other.

Both lifeboats were stood down at 5:44 a.m., by which time the tug was in assistance and the Seafrontier was taken under tow, according to RNLI.

The RNLI, which sent lifeboats to the scene, has described the crash as a "major collision".

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