A 67-metre barge that began to sink on its maiden voyage has been towed all the way back to the Netherlands

A 67-metre barge, which began to sink near Deal in Kent on Friday has been temporarily repaired and towed back to the Netherlands. The dipper dredger,Goliat, was on tow from Belgium to Ireland – on its maiden voyage – when it got into trouble on Friday while on passage to Dover Harbour.

The vessel began sinking while on passage between Deal and Kingsdown in Kent. Rescue workers from Dover arrived on scene and attended until salvage experts, Multraship of Holland, arrived and towed the barge towards the beach to prevent it from sinking.

An investigation concluded that water ingress on the port side and an open vent cover were likely to have caused the sinking. All affected areas were then sealed andGoliatwas towed to an anchorage so divers could inspect her hull before she was deemed safe to be towed to Moerdijk in the Netherlands where she will be looked at further.

The barge was carrying large quantities of fuel and hydraulic oils but there have been no reports of any oil spills and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said a surveillance flight had not revealed any signs of pollution in the area.

Photo credit: Maritime and Coastguard Agency