The shocking truth behind a ship's stranding

The MV Danio. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

It was a drama that could easily have been a disaster.

The sight of the 262 foot MV Danio stranded on rocks on the Farne islands caused confusion at first in March last year.

How could the crew have missed the nearby lighthouse? Today the answer became clear - the only man up on the ship's bridge that night had fallen asleep.

Not only that, they had been given less than the required ten hour break, no-one else had been posted as look-out, which is against regulations and the alarm system used to keep the chief officer awake had been turned off.

There was potential for an environmental disaster too with the Farne Islands home to seals, puffins and other protected wildlife.

It is thought the Danio sailed silently down the North East coast for ninety minutes without anyone in control. The fine may hit the operators hard but they know far worse things could have happened at sea that night.