About 110 tonnes of oil spilled into the English Channel this morning after a fishing boat collided with an oil tanker.
A 20ft by 6ft hole was ripped in the side of the Maltese tanker Gudermes, allowing the oil to spew into the sea.
The accident, involving the tanker and the French fishing boat St Jacques II at the South Foreland, one mile north of Dover, in Kent.
The 32,000 tonne tanker, which was carrying 26,000 tonnes of oil and had 26 crew on board, was en route from Dover to Africa when the collision happened.
The unspilt oil was transferred to other tanks.
A Dover Coastguard spokesman, said: ‘‘The leak has now stopped and the pollution is dispersing. We will be monitoring the situation throughout the day.
‘‘A surveillance aircraft from Lydd is observing the scene and the Coastguard emergency towing vessel is 200 yards away.
‘‘Conditions for the operation are good with a southerly light airs and good visibility.’’
The tanker is anchored off of Dover while the damage is assessed and repairs are carried out.
The fishing vessel was undamaged and is making its way back to the French coast. Nobody was injured.