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06/01/2012

Concerns For Toddler On Board Damaged Tanker

Concerns have been raised for a two-year-old girl onboard a damaged oil tanker anchored at Belfast Lough, waiting to have its cargo transferred to another vessel.

The Genmar Companion has been anchored off the Copeland Islands since a crack developed in its upper deck on 16 December.

Since then the safety of the 23-strong crew has been a concern as well as the operation of transferring the oil to another tanker.

The Irish inspector for the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), Ken Fleming, said he is concerned that the operating company of a damaged oil tanker has not moved a two-year-old girl onboard to safety.

Mr Fleming said he was "alarmed" to hear that a two-year-old was on the ship and that he would be requesting permission to visit those onboard as soon as possible to assess their welfare.

Gale-force winds have delayed the transfer of oil from the damaged tanker and it is understood that the vessel will remain anchored there until the weather conditions improve.

(LB)

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