A recovery operation is under way after the 75-metre ship dragged anchor and ran aground next to an Antony Gormley statue.
A cargo ship full of broken glass has run aground near Margate Harbour in Kent.
Dover Coastguard received reports that The Islay Trader, a 75-metre vessel, had dragged anchor and run aground shortly after 3am on Sunday.
The Barbudan-flagged ship became stuck between 30-50 metres from shore, next to a sculpture by artist Antony Gormley.
The ship's fuel tanks have not been damaged and the risk to the environment from pollution has been assessed as very low.
A tug is being organised to refloat the vessel, which is registered in Barbuda and was travelling to Antwerp where its cargo would be recycled.
"There is no risk to life and the crew remain on board in preparation for an attempt to refloat and tow the vessel to safety around midday on Sunday, with the next high water (2.30pm)," the coastguard said.
Faversham Ships, which operates the Islay Trader, told Sky News it was liaising with Dover Coastguard.
The operator said: "The Maritime and Coastguard Agency's counter pollution and salvage officer is working with the vessel's shipping agents during the recovery operation and the Marine Accident Investigation Branch has been informed.
"The secretary of state's representative for salvage and intervention has been informed and is monitoring the situation."