Boatowners are likely to encounter many more laid-up merchant ships around the UK due to the credit crunch

Boatowners are likely to encounter many more laid-up merchant ships around the UK due to the credit crunch. Harbours and anchorages in several parts of the country are filling up with surplus ships as owners lay-up their vessels.

The lay-up area at King Harry Ferry on the River Fal is already so full of dormant ships that Carrick harbourmaster Andy Brigden has had to reject a request to accommodate a further fleet of seven vessels. Southampton, meanwhile, has become the temporary home of four large ships totalling over 300,000 tonnes, and it is reported that additional moorings will be laid to accommodate further arrivals.

Several container ships have been withdrawn from service and laid-up on rivers in the north east, while most of the fleet of Coastal Bulk Shipping, which collapsed in December, is anchored in various locations on the River Medway.