Accessibility links

Breaking News

Capsized Cargo Ship Tossed by Rough Seas Off French Coast

In this photo taken on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016 and provided by the Prefecture Maritime Atlantique on Jan. 29, 2016, the cargo ship "Modern Express" is pictured drifting off the coast of France.

A crippled cargo ship listing heavily to one side drifted slowly towards the French Atlantic coast Saturday as rescue teams struggled to tow it to shore.

The captain of the capsized Modern Express sent out a distress call Tuesday and its crew of 22 was evacuated by Spanish helicopters.

France's coastal authority said a team of experts boarded the listing vessel late Friday, but rough seas curtailed efforts to begin towing it. The authorities said another attempt will be made Saturday, if weather and sea conditions permit.

The Modern Express was carrying 3,600 tons of timber.

French authorities said there was no sign that water had entered the vessel or that fuel had leaked out. The cause of the breakdown was not immediately known.