On March 20, the 39 meter long fishing vessel Deborah collided with the 82 meter long, 2289 dwt cargo vessel Britannica Hav in the English Channel near Cherbourg, France. The Britannica Hav was en route to Keadby from Santander with a cargo of steel when it was struck amidships by the Deborah. The Britannica Hav sustained severe hull damage and the cargo holds quickly filled with water. Her seven crew were able to escape into the cargo vessel’s two life rafts before the Britannica Hav capsized.
The Deborah was able to rescue the seven crewmen from the life rafts. Authorities dispatched a helicopter from Jobourg to assist. The helicopter was able to hoist all seven crew from the Britannica Hav off the trawler. One crewman from the Britannica Hav suffered slight injuries and was taken to hospital.
The Deborah sustained bow damage during the collision, but was able to stay afloat. The master of the Deborah also sustained injuries, but decided to stay on board the vessel until it could return back to port in Zeebrugge. There he was later taken to hospital for treatment.
Authorities dispatched patrol boats to the scene to monitor the overturned Britannica Hav. Pollution from the fuel tanks was spotted around the wreck. Debris including several hatch covers were being tracked as being a danger to navigation.
Reports state the authorities dispatched the tug Abeille Liberté to the scene to take the overturned Britannica Hav under tow. After connecting a towline, they proceeded for Le Havre at a slow speed so that the Britannica Hav would not sink. Another tug was dispatched and recovered the hatch covers.