Shipwreck holiday route reopens

A main road which was closed when a cargo ship ran aground in rough seas has been re-opened for the Bank Holiday weekend.

Two lifeboats and Royal Navy and RAF helicopters were involved in the rescue of seven Polish crew after the MV Carrier struck rocks near Colwyn Bay, north Wales, on Tuesday in heavy seas.

Since then the A55 - the main trunk road to Anglesey and the north Wales coast - has been closed, causing traffic chaos on surrounding roads.

The continued closure of the road would have been a major setback for holidaymakers making their way to the many holiday resorts in the area.

But the Highways Agency has re-opened the road. A spokesman said: "Both lanes of the A55 have now been re-opened between Junction 22 and Junction 23 and are expected to remain so for the Bank Holiday weekend."

However, due to the nature of the incident travellers are advised to get the latest information from www.traffic-wales.com before they travel.

The ship, which is registered in Antigua and Barbuda and was carrying a cargo of stone, is now resting against concrete blocks on the beach at Llanddulas, which runs adjacent to the A55. The company added that the crew members, who were uninjured, are expected to be repatriated home "as soon as possible".

On Thursday an operation was launched to remove around 35 tonnes of fuel from the vessel. A "small quantity" of oil which was in use at the time seeped out of the 82-metre long vessel but the impact of the leak is expected to be "minimal", Environment Agency Wales said.

German shipping firm Reederei Erwin Strahlmann, which owns and manages the vessel, has declared it a "total constructive loss", adding that tenders had been invited to undertake a wreck removal.

The company said that contractors had been appointed to work "around the clock" to remove the fuel. The aim is to complete the pumping operation during the holiday weekend, the company said. The amount of fuel on board is approximately equivalent to the capacity of two road tankers.