First toxic ship arrives in UK
( 2003-11-13 09:22) (CNN.com)
The first of 13 polluted U.S. ships due to be
scrapped in Britain arrived on Wednesday, adding a noisy environmental row to
the storm of protest surrounding next week's visit by U.S. President George W.
Environmental campaigners descended on the northern English port of
Hartlepool, giving a foretaste of massive demonstrations planned for London when
Bush visits from next Wednesday.
"We don't want these ships in the UK," said Mike Childs, UK campaigns
director for environmental pressure groups Friends of the Earth.
|An unidentified old U.S. Navy vessel is
towed in the English Channel on its way to Hartlepool, Britain.
"America has the capacity to deal with its own waste and the moral obligation
to do so," he told Reuters.
"This is a sorry mess created by the U.S. administration's determination
to get rid of these boats as quickly as possible and UK regulators' failure to
carry our the proper checks and assessments," he added.
The decrepit former U.S. Navy oil tanker "Caloosahatchee" was the first
to arrive of the so-called "Ghost Ships," a fleet of ancient vessels, some of
which date back to World War Two and which are contaminated with asbestos and
other toxic chemicals.
They are due be scrapped by a British firm under a contract worth ?0 million
Three more are already on their way, while another nine are still waiting in
the United States for permission to sail.
Local campaigners have persuaded Britain's Environment Agency to withdraw
permission for the scrapping, leaving the fate of the ships up in the air.
The four that have already left the United States have been allowed to dock
while the demolition firm, Able UK, contests the case in