Just as our 'excitement' is cooling down about the 'Ever Stuck', a new technically-similar drama unfolded yesterday (Tuesday 30th) when MV 'Elise' sailed into Littlehampton harbour carrying 2,600 tonnes of roadstone from Antwerp in Belgium to unload its cargo at 1.15am on Tuesday morning. Unfortunately, it became stuck just over two hours later, when it broke free of some of its moorings as the tide began to fall, stopping at a near 75 degree angle and blocking traffic in and out of the harbour as it settled onto the muddy harbour bed.

It took more than 10 hours before the Antigua and Barbuda-flagged vessel could be shifted once again as the tide rose, lifting it off the bed and allowing the marooned boats and leisure craft to go on their way.

Two commercial fishing ships carrying the day’s catch were delayed by two hours and several leisure vessels had to wait three hours before they could sail out to sea for a planned day-trip.

Jonathan Penberthy, vice commodore at Arun Yacht Club, said: "We see it as amusing to be honest. We joke that it's nice to see even the professionals muck it up sometimes.” "We only get six ships a year, it is quite a novel experience. Whenever there is ship movement, quite a lot of sailors like myself and our members like to go out and watch them come in and out because it is incredible how they manage to navigate such a large vessel.

("Large" being a very comparative term, of course !"