A STRANDED Russian ship detained in a North-East port has a catalogue of 50 significant problems, a survey has found.

The Vismark Gloria cargo ship was detained last month by Maritime and Coastguard Agency inspectors when it arrived in Stockton, following a voyage from the Black Sea with a cargo of ammonium nitrate.

The 34-year-old vessel was targeted for inspection because of its previous poor record. It had already been detained this year and last year was stopped in Spain and Belgium.

Earlier this month, the ship was inspected fully. Among the defects uncovered were severe corrosion and fractures in the frames which strengthen the hull, the ship was not totally watertight, it had no updated charts for the voyage into the North Sea and its equipment for receiving warnings was not working.

The ship's company, St Vincent Grenadines, and the Russian Register of Shipping are now to carry out their own checks.

Stockton marine office surveyor Frank Carter said: "This ship will require substantial work to make it safe to return to sea.

"It is alarming to think that the ship and crew have had to tackle winter seas in a ship in this condition.

"The classification society issued a full safety certificate to the ship in July this year.

"I find it very hard to conceive that the condition of the vessel has deteriorated much since them. This ship is not a credit to those with a responsibility for her conditions and safety."

It is believed the ship had been impounded by the Admiralty Marshall following a cargo dispute and non-payment of bills.

Meanwhile, the Russian crew are being helped by Teesside seamen's charities.