The 172m Croatian-flagged bulk carrier Molat, which was carrying a large cargo of timber, got into difficulties off the Wearside coast which may have been caused after she hit ice. The 2000-built vessel, with 20 crew on board, began to list at around 1000 on 21 January when 40 miles out in the North Sea. The 17,928gt vessel left Norrköping in Sweden on 21 January and was heading for Alexandria in Egypt when she got into difficulty.

Molat anchored at Seaburn and was later berthed at Sunderland Port, where her load was made safe. A marine surveyor was sent to check the vessel and her crew spent the night on board. A spokeswoman for HM Coastguard said following the incident: ‘We are investigating the possibility that the ship hit ice and this caused the cargo to shift.’

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