A FULLY loaded coal ship broke its moorings in Gladstone harbour at 5am this morning and began pivoting 180 degrees.
A witness said four tug boats arrived and held the ship in position.
Passengers on the GLNG ferries were evacuated, but those on the QCLNG ferries weren't.
Gladstone Water Police were called out after a speed boat got in the way of the tug boats, but that situation has since been rectified.
The Australia Maritime Safety Authority said it "was aware of the grounding of a bulk carrier in Gladstone harbour overnight".
The authority is managing the incident, and has detained the vessel until ship safety division officers can carry out further inspections.
It's believed the ship was moored at the Barney Point Coal Terminal.
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