FURTHER attempts will have to be made to refloat a ferry stranded on a sandbank.
The Airbus cargo vessel, used to transport wings produced at the company’s Broughton plant, got stuck on Wednesday afternoon.
The M.V. Cuidad de Cadiz ferry had 23 crew on board when it became moored.
Early yesterday afternoon the ship was refloated into deeper water with the assistance of two tugs, but it has yet to return to its berth, with more favourable weather conditions needed for this work to be completed today.
Liverpool Coastguard and Mostyn Harbour salvage crew were involved in the operation yesterday.
An eyewitness to yesterday’s struggle said even in the highest tide the ferry was still stuck.
“When I was there in the morning, the sea was at its highest tide and it won’t be that high again for a while,” said the eyewitness.
“If they don’t move it soon, it’s going to much harder and the tides are getting shallower now.”
Hugh Shaw, the Secretary of State’s representative for maritime salvage and intervention, said yesterday: “Attempts have been made to refloat the vessel using two tugs, and this afternoon the bow of the vessel has moved but the stern is still stuck.
There is another high tide tomorrow afternoon which will provide an opportunity to move her to deeper water.
“We are closely monitoring the situation, but as there is no evidence of damage to the hull. The risk of pollution is very low.”
A Liverpool Coastguard spokesman said: “We were involved at the outset, at about 1.50pm on Wednesday. But once it became clear it was not a search and rescue investigation, we just stayed in attendance to monitor the situation.”
Responding to concerns from fishermen about the possible impact on the cockling trade due to the ferry being moored on a sandbank, an Airbus spokesman said: “Airbus is working closely with all the relevant authorities to ensure a speedy a resolution to this issue.
“It is an ongoing situation but the protection of the environment is a top priority for Airbus. The vessel is upright and in a safe position.
“There is no marine pollution. The ship is not damaged but only stuck on the sand.
“It would be inappropriate for us to comment further until an assessment of the situation is completed.”