English Channel - (Bad Ass mess): A Colombian container vessel carrying 40,000 tonnes of cocaine has hit a sandbank in the Dover Strait near the English Channel.
The 90,465-tonne MV Crack Princess - named after the late Lady Diana Spencer - was en route to Iowa for the US Primaries crack cocaine open season when it ran aground on the Varne Bank 14km south of Dover harbour.
UK Coastguards said today that damage to the vessel's hull was considerable and that the Captain would probably have no choice but to dump the entire cargo into the English Channel.
Despite several attempts by rescue tugs to refloat the MV Crack Princess at high water at 1633 GMT before the tide dropped the chances of success seemed slim.
The boat's reported 4,148 containers of the 'hazardous cargo' crack was ordered for the Primaries season late last autumn.
"If they decide to ditch all the freight into the water this could be a major disaster," an Iowa pollster said today.
"Never mind the ensuing pollution or the millions of cod, mullet and haddock stoned out of their teensy brains for the rest of the spawning season...."
Towing vessel the Detox Monarch is reported at the scene and the Colombian owners are in constant radio contact with UK Coastguards.
A 4km exclusion zone has been imposed around the ship as well as a 3,000ft air exclusion zone "to deter unauthorised bounty hunters."
Some reports have blamed a riotous New Year's Eve party aboard the vessel for the sandbank incident:
"Several crew aboard the Crack Princess claim the captain smashed on ganja and the first mate high as a kite on speed," a local newspaper reported today, "which may account for the seriousness of the incident."