October 10, 2008 / 8:39 PM / 10 years ago

Cargo ship hits Gibraltar rocks in heavy seas

A cargo transport ship hits rocks in heavy seas in Gibraltar, October 10, 2008. REUTERS/Prem Mahtani

GIBRALTAR (Reuters) - British and Spanish authorities tried to save a bulk carrier which hit rocks on Gibraltar’s southern tip Friday as storms hammered the British colony, local officials said.

The Liberian-registered Fedra was dragging her anchor in a force 8 gale Friday afternoon. Despite the efforts of two tug boats to hold the ship clear of land, its anchor broke and the stern of the 35,000 tonne vessel smashed against rocks at Europa Point — Europe’s most southerly spot.

Local officials said they did not immediately know the condition of the ship or what it was carrying.

A Gibraltarian rescue helicopter hovered overhead, trying to rescue the 31 crew, as winds of around 70 miles an hour battered the British territory and the southern Spanish coast.

The Fedra is 24 years old and is owned by Fedra Navigation SA, according to the shipping website www.equasis.org. (Reporting by Dominique Searle; writing by Ben Harding; editing by Tim Pearce)

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