Crew to stay onboard stranded ship

The crew of an 80 metre long ship which ran aground near a lighthouse in an important wildlife haven will spend the night stuck onboard, an RNLI spokesman said.

The MV Danio was heading from Perth, Scotland, to Antwerp, Belgium, when it got caught on rocks in the Farne Islands, three miles off the Northumberland coast at 4.30am on Saturday.

The vessel, carrying timber, was not thought to be badly damaged and there were no reports of any fuel leak after she got stuck on the Blue Caps, close to the Longstone Lighthouse. High tide passed without any attempt to refloat the vessel, as salvage crews were keen to take their time and prepare a plan.

Ian Clayton, of the Seahouses RNLI, said the crew was still on board, and that meant lifeboat men were also standing close by at sea in case of any emergency.

The Seahouses lifeboat crew, which has been on scene for around 14 hours, was expected to be relieved by a crew from Berwick which will keep watch on the vessel overnight.

Mr Clayton said: "It looks like it will be a big job. There will be a meeting in the morning by the salvage teams who will have some decisions to make. They can't get it off tonight because the tide has been falling for the last hour now."

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said there were no reports of any injuries or pollution.

Earlier Andrew Douglas, who runs boat trips round the Farnes from Seahouses, said: "She seems to be fine at the moment, and doesn't appear to be holed. But it is worrying because all the birds are starting to return to the islands for the summer. We have 20,000 guillemots on the Farnes right now."

The Farne Islands are also home to puffins, around 6,000 grey seals and more than 20 bird species breed there.

David Steel, the National Trust's head ranger for the Farnes, said: "We got lucky. The birds are not back and there does not seem to be any damage to the ship, so we got away with it."