High tide refloats container ship
Coastguards have successfully refloated a German container vessel which ran aground off Kent.
The 90,465-tonne LT Cortesia with 27 crew onboard was en route to the Suez Canal when it hit the Varne Bank, nine miles (14km) south of Dover harbour.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said three commercial tugs refloated the vessel with while a coastguard tug also stood by.
The ship will be anchored three miles off the coast of Deal overnight.
Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive will board the vessel to decide whether it is safe for it to continue its voyage.
All the crew, who were unhurt, remained aboard while it was aground and also during the refloating operation.
The ship is expected to stay at its anchorage, in an area called The Downs, for most of Thursday while the teams work out how it ran aground.
The MCA said earlier on Wednesday it appeared the ship was still watertight.
Spokesman Mike Toogood said the ship was freed from the sandbank by the tugs' combined pulling power and its own power.
Earlier, the MCA said the evening's high tide would be the best chance to move the vessel before the tide dropped over the next few days.
The ship is carrying 4,148 containers, some of which is "hazardous cargo", but they are reported to be secure.
All vessels entering the Dover Strait have to report any hazardous materials to the Coastguard.
The container vessel ran aground just before high water at 0500 GMT as it travelled through the Dover Strait in the south west bound lane from Thames Port.
The Varne sandbank is a well-known hazard that is clearly marked on all shipping charts.