A ship from Croatia ship found itself in difficulties off the Wearside coast after the wood load that it was carrying froze in the cold weather.
The frozen wood made the ship's cargo considerably heavier and then caused the ship to list.
The Molat, manned by a crew of twenty people, started to list on Tuesday morning whilst still sixty kilometres out in the North Sea.
The vessel, which weights nearly 30,000 tonnes, left the Swedish port of Norrkopping on Monday, destined for the Egyptian city of Alexandria.
The vessel will berth at Sunderland Port this afternoon so that safety checks can be carried out, having already anchored at Seaburn last night.