Friday 31st October
Heavy ground swell today has pushed the main body of the ship up into
Castle Zawn and she is pretty
much demolished back to the superstructure.
Tuesday 7th October
The ship has, this afternoon, broken into two pieces. The bow section
has fallen to starboard; the rest of the ship has been driven further
up the rocks by the swell and continues to pound heavily.
Thursday 11th September
The wreck took a heavy pounding yesterday in continuing swell conditions
and looks about to break apart.......
Saturday 2nd August
The starboard side of the ship is now fully breached over a length of
appx 100 feet and she is well on the way to breaking into two .......new
images now on the above link.
Friday 30th May
Salvage operations concluded today with the ship being abandoned just
after 1700 hrs .
A large hole in the starboard side; all the decks are now split and numerous
seams split in the plating.
Monday 26th May
There is now apparently a significant hole in the side of the ship - hope
to have some images soon
Sunday 25th May
Small amounts of plastic continue to come ashore at Sennen and are being
very rapidly cleaned off the beach. Apparently there is very little cargo
left in the ship and the salvors are currently stripping the accommodation
Monday 19th May
Strong westerlies and a nasty wind sea this evening really pounding the
wreck - though she is still in one piece, she is swinging and grinding
on the seabed with an awful noise and clearly massive damage is being
done to the hull.....images updated on the `latest images` link above.
Sunday 11th May
The ship is indeed now breaking up, with the starboard side apparently
breached and the remaining cargo likely to be washed out.
Friday 9th May
This evening has seen the first significant pollution on Sennen beach,
with floating rafts of plastic waste washing ashore from late afternoon.
Machinery has been quickly mobilised to remove the plastic from the beach.
(images on the 2nd May> page).
This looks to be a clear sign that the ship is breaking up and releasing
significant amounts of cargo.
Thursday 8th May
A subtle change in the swell direction has caused the ship to pound heavily
Friday 2nd May
Fresh northwesterly winds this evening combined with an average spring
tide high water saw the wreck moving considerably and a slick of dirty
water filling Gamper Bay. It looks likely that a dose of regular Sennen
ground sea - which we have not seen since the ship went aground - might
cause her to break round the midships area with both bow and stern sections
then being washed closer to the cliff....new images today linked above.
Sunday 27th April
Although there is no obvious sign of it yet, the swell is forecast to
increase significantly during the next 24 hours.
This via Cornishwildlife group:-
Campaigners' dismay over wreck decision Environmental campaigners say
they are dismayed at the decision to abandon
attempts to salvage a wrecked ship which is stranded off the Cornish coast.
The RMS Mulheim ran aground on rocks between Sennen Cove and Land's End
22 March. Efforts to remove the Mulheim's remaining cargo of waste plastic
continuing and the conveyor belt system is being used whenever weather
conditions allow. But the ship herself is now to be left to the mercy
of the elements.
Officials say trying to move her would be more of a risk to the environment.
"We have seen a whole series of disasters through this whole salvage
operation," said Vicky Garner of Surfers Against Sewage "And
we are not actually surprised we have come to this point several weeks
down the line whereby the vessel can't be moved. "Ultimately they
did know there were going to be problems with salvaging it,
but maybe if the operation had started on week two they could have got
boat moved." Calls are still coming in from the public about plastic
washed up on local
beaches. An investigation into the cause of the accident is still ongoing.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Thursday 24th April
The forecast for the next week is poor, with southwesterly gales from
time to time - this might just herald the beginning of the end for the
Tuesday 22nd April
Looks as though the big spring tides have had an effect, with the ship
moving quite a bit and cracks apparently
beginning to appear in the hull indicating that the ship is starting to
Last evening`s very high tide - with a 6ft swell - had the ship awash
and moving quite a bit.
Delighted to say that the rig was successfully floated and towed away
from the wreck site this morning - allaying fears of it becoming a second
Monday 14th April
The team now have a rope walkway in place from the cliff to the ship and
have recommenced removing
the cargo by bags and the hoist at something like 2 tons per hour - but
it is coming off - great !
From Linda Fellober in Canada - I wish you best on getting this attended
Saturday 12th April
Much the same, with a 2m swell which will probably prohibit any progress
Friday 11th April
Another frustrating day for the salvage team with the swell again preventing
removal of the jack-up rig.
Thursday 10th April
Local fishermen yesterday had a decent catch of `mulheimcargo` in their
tangle nets - more on the fishing page linked above.
Having parked the jack-up rig alongside the ship, there is now concern
that the forthcoming spring tides and continuing swell may threaten the
safety of the rig. An attempt to move it out last night was aborted due
to the swell ( which was at its lowest for several days - but too much)...with
another attempt due this morning.
After a good day yesterday during which a significant amount of cargo
was removed, the swell has increased this morning - as predicted - and
it will be interesting to see if anything can be achieved today.
A large jack-up rig with an excavator aboard is due to arrive today and
establish alongside the wreck . As I understand
it, a barge is then going to moor alongside the rig and it is intended
that the cargo will be removed much quicker with this equipment.
Today`s weather outlook gives the swell gradually increasing through the
week, with southwesterly gales forecast for next weekend.....
Another fine day......looks like two or three days with only a slight
swell before it increases during the second half of next week. The salvors
remain optimistic that, once the cargo is removed, it might be possible
to refloat the ship and remove her - although she is a constructive total
Today`s long range forecast looks good, with settled easterly conditions
for the next week or more which will hopefully give the salvors a useful
This from the Cornish Wildlife Group ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
INQUIRY DEMANDED INTO SHIP SALVAGE
BY CLARE MORGAN AND ANDY GREENWOOD
09:00 - 03 April 2003 From: http://www.thisiscornwall.co.uk
Questions have begun to be raised about the handling of the Mulheim salvage
The Mulheim was carrying 2,200 tonnes of shredded plastic when she ran
rocks between Land's End and Sennen 12 days ago, and about a quarter of
plastic has now escaped into the sea.
Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) have demanded a public inquiry into the
handling of the incident.
But the Maritime and Coastguard Agency says the heavy seas and bad weather
have made much of the salvage task too dangerous to attempt.
After a meeting with the shoreline response team yesterday morning, SAS
asking serious questions of the salvage operators and the way the salvage
operation has been carried out so far.
Richard Hardy, of SAS, said the risk of a serious pollution incident
"appeared to have increased rather than decreased" despite the
salvors and the MCA.
He said: "The vessel is still losing its cargo, which is nasty plastic
scrap. Clearly the public are unhappy with the way the salvage operation
been carried out.
"We will be urging Alistair Darling, Secretary of State for Transport,
call a public inquiry into the whole affair."
However, he said they were confident that the local authorities involved
a satisfactory strategy in place to deal with any waste washing up on
Tonnes of the waste material escaped from the 1,846-tonne ship, which
route from Cork to Lubeck, Germany, when she ran aground on March 22,
heavy seas on the Tuesday night.
The MCA estimates that so far about 400-500 tonnes of the plastic cargo
escaped, mainly since the hatches were opened and could not be re closed
because of damage.
And conservationists fear the 120-metre by 50-metre raft of floating debris
could harm marine wildlife.
Ruth Williams, marine conservation officer for the Cornwall Wildlife Trust,
said: "Our main worry is that animals will start to eat these little
plastic that are floating around.
"Obviously the plastic is going to be in the marine environment now
decades. It is man-made and will be there for a long time.
"We were hoping it would be cleared up as quickly as possible, but
they have missed their weather window.
"We are not sure about the toxicity of the plastic - that is not
issue. We are more concerned about the longevity.
"There is no way we can clear it up from the seabed and it is going
around for years.
"Wildlife such as seagulls and dolphins could swallow these pieces
will give them digestive problems or could even choke them.
"This is yet another example of how we are not looking after our
how we need to respect nature a bit more."
She said that another worry was the thousands of visitors who have arrived
to see the Mulheim from the National Trust-owned clifftops.
The numbers of wreck spotters have become so great that special signs
been erected pointing vehicles to a makeshift car park in a nearby field.
"There are thousands of people tramping on the heathland and we are
concerned about the delicate heathland species that it is affecting,"
"There is also an historic Bronze Age site on top of the cliffs that
being walked all over."
Rough weather and heavy sea swells have so far prevented salvagers clearing
cargo from the vessel, which is skewered on rocks.
Her diesel fuel and other pollutants have fortunately now been removed.
the cargo has been removed, the Mulheim was to have been left to the mercy
of the seas.
However, that decision is now being reviewed and a further announcement
expected next week.
Steve Winston, emergency planning officer for Cornwall County Council,
yesterday said the area of floating plastic was totally inaccessible.
He said: "There is nothing we can do to collect it from the water.
dangerous. We have got to wait for it to come ashore where we've got teams
ready to do the clear-up."
Dean Evans, of the Environment Agency, said the situation was being closely
"Material is coming off the boat, but not a substantial amount and
well washed by the sea. It is unsightly on the beach but does not pose
other environmental problems," he said.
The MCA last night issued a statement saying that the operation had hit
difficulties because of deteriorating weather.
The release also contained a statement from Robin Middleton, the Secretary
of State's Representative in Maritime Salvage and Intervention (SOSREP),
that the vessel would not be moved if that meant putting people's lives
It said: "High winds and swell have once again hampered the salvors'
in removing the cargo. It is now estimated that between 20 and 25 per
of the cargo has been lost due to the weather conditions.
"Dutch salvage experts have reported to the MCA that the ship has
during the recent storm. It was known that the hatches would be jammed
they were opened and there are fractures around the coaming (deck).
"The salvors were aware that they would be unable to replace the
to the misalignment of the vessel allowing further cargo to escape into
sea. Some accommodation windows have been broken due to wave and wind
and further water has now entered the vessel.
"The attempt to secure a steel cable to the vessel to allow a conveyor
system to be constructed in order to remove the cargo, which was partially
successful, had to be abandoned after a link jammed and sea conditions
it impossible for the salvors to remain on board the vessel, which was
being rocked by the sea.
"An attempt to free the link will be made tomorrow. Further work
being pursued about bringing a jack-up rig into position besides the vessel,
which again is being slowed by poor weather."
Mr Middleton said after a meeting of the Salvage Control Unit in Penzance:
"Our main priority remains to remove the cargo from the vessel. The
removal of the wreck from the foreshore is a low priority for us at the
moment, as the wreck itself does not present a major environmental threat.
We cannot risk life or limb in removing the vessel from her present resting
place; however, any such options or plans for wreck removal will have
risk-assessed before any action is taken. Any such option can only be
explored after our immediate plans for cargo removal have been completed."
Although the salvage team have had their work limited by weather they
set up specialist equipment on the cliffs and cordoned off areas to prevent
people straying on to what is now a work site where hard hats must be
Just a few of my own comments on the above - with right of reply as always....
Are Surfers against Sewage using this as a media-exploitation campaign....it
has nothing to do with sewage and very little to do with surfing................
The floating plastic was extensive close under Land`s End yesterday morning
and - given reasonable conditions - could quite easily be collected by
local small boats.........
The comments re. the clifftop should be weighed against a significant
boost for local tourism `out of season`...there seemed no concern when
the cycle path was hacked out of virgin scrubland nearby a couple of years
With hindsight it would seem a strange move to open the hatches, with
the recent bad weather well forecast some days previous......
This from Shane Lilford-Powys
I have just read a comment on your web page asking if Surfers Against
Sewage are using this disaster as a media campaign, as it has nothing
to do with sewage and little to do with surfing. Where has this person
been living for the last 20 years, on Mars? It has everything to do with
surfing, imagine taking off on a wave and falling off onto a great piece
of rubber floating in the water. It would be like getting slapped around
the head with a tyre. S.A.S are not just against sewage but all types
It was only a couple of weeks ago that the whole area was covered in pampers
- but there was very little said by any organisations at the time........and
the pampers are currently causing an awful lot of trouble to fishermen
caught up in nets and crab-pots. As I understand and have seen, this stuff
- ok pollution - is very small and probably would not be a physical danger
to surfers, however unwelcome.
The point I am trying to make, however badly, is that there is negligible
pollution here at Sennen so far, and in all probability that is how it
will remain; the diesel, lube oil and paint have been removed from the
wreck, so why at this point in time such a huge campaign by SAS which
suggests Sennen is `plastered`....we even witnessed television shots being
`rigged` yesterday with odd bits of plastic from all over the beach being
gathered into one place and filmed to give the impression of significant
Everyone supports the `ethos` of SAS, but creating hysteria out of what
is so far a non-event will surely only weaken their cause ?