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Don’t cause a stink down your festive sink!

Putting leftover fat down the plughole could be a disastrous Christmas present for our seas, says the UK's leading marine charity.

With millions of households, restaurants and eateries serving up a fabulous festive roast today, the Marine Conservation Society is warning people not to pour leftover cooking fats and oils down the sink.

The MCS says sewers clogged up with fat stops waste water reaching treatment works and can ultimately result in untreated sewage ending up on our beaches and in the sea.

Fats, oils and grease – FOGs for short - can cause major problems in pipes, drains and sewers. This waste congeals to form blockages which can lead to flooding in homes and pollution in our seas.

Worse still, any flushed wet wipes team up with fats, oils and greases to make fatbergs, some as big as a double-decker bus!

“Making sure that fats and oils stay out of your dishwater, and away from your sink, may seem like a strange ask from a marine charity, but if everybody made that small change it could make a big difference to our seas and beaches.

“Blocked pipes increase the risk of sewers overflowing during heaving rainfall, allowing untreated sewage to spill into rivers and seas – bad news for the environment, wildlife and anybody who wants to enjoy a dip at the beach,” says Rachel Wyatt, MCS Water Quality Programme Manager.

– Rachel Wyatt, MCS Water Quality Programme Manager

So, along with other organisations working to improve bathing water quality through the #Binit4beaches campaign, like Keep Britain Tidy and the Environment Agency, MCS is highlighting this potential Christmas crisis with a brilliant downloadable graphic which can be displayed in the home or the workplace to remind people to get rid of leftover FOGs in the right way.

'Don't cause a stink – be nice to your sink' is one of a series of sharable graphics that's part of the MCS 'Know Your Poos and Don’ts' campaign which has been created by the Daughter creative agency, working with MCS. Six graphics remind people how the things they do in their daily lives – miles from the sea – can have a major impact on the quality of the UK's bathing water.

How to get rid of FOGs safely -*Pour into a heat resistant container then recycle or bin once cooled. *Wipe out greasy pans with kitchen roll before washing. *Catch greasy food scraps in a sink strainer to make sure they don’t go down the plughole.

To make sure you ‘Know Your Poos and Don’ts’, visit: download the image either to print out to share on your social media networks.

Man accused of ferry fire will use "high seas" defence

King Seaways Ferry Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

A man accused of starting a fire on a North Sea ferry which sparked a major rescue operation will argue the court has no jurisdiction in his case.

Boden George Hughes, 26, is charged with arson and affray after a fire broke out on a DFDS service between North Shields in North Tyneside and Amsterdam last year.

Six people from the King Seaways ferry were airlifted to hospital by crews from RAF Leconfield in December.

Mr Hughes appeared before Newcastle Crown Court via a videolink from prison, but did not enter pleas.

A hearing will be held on May 8 where the issue of jurisdiction will be argued, the court agreed.

It was understood the legal team for Hughes, will say the vessel was not British-flagged and was on the "high seas" at the time of the alleged offence, and therefore the court has no jurisdiction.

The prosecution will challenge that argument.


Catamaran crew rescued from sinking ship

16 crew members working on a catamaran in the North Sea have been rescued after it struck an underwater object.

The crew issued a call for help as they were taking on water near to Donna Nook. A nearby commercial ship was able to help and take people onboard.

A crew from RAF Leconfield also came to their aid and everyone was forced to abandon ship.

The Humber Lifeboat was able to stop water being taken onboard and pumped out some of the water already there. The vessel has now been tied up in Grimsby.