The 75-metre cargo ship that ran aground at Margate on Fulsam Rock, metres from the Antony Gormley ‘man’ sculpture, is now back afloat.
Margate RNLI’s two lifeboats and tug were on standby and another tug from Medway was called in to get the vessel back on its way this afternoon.
The Islay Trader was transporting a load of broken glass from Purfleet to Antwerp when she dragged anchor and ran aground at the Fulsam Rock at 3am.
The vessel was unable to refloat itself and sat out the low tide to await a refloating attempt at the next high tide during the afternoon.
UK Coastguard and other agencies were in attendance ashore and the tug was engaged to refloat the ship. Both the all-weather and inshore lifeboats from Margate were launched to assist and provide safety cover during the refloating operation.
At exactly high water – around 2.18pm – the ship, which had six crew onboard, was towed clear of the shoreline by the tug and went to anchor in Margate Roads awaiting further orders. None of the ship’s crew were harmed in the incident.
Peter Barker, deputy launching authority Margate lifeboat said: “The incident attracted the attention of national media and a large number of spectators and it was important to ensure there was adequate safety cover for both these people and the salvage operation itself.”