Fuel oil spills from barge into harbour



A tonne of heavy fuel leaked into Gladstone Harbour yesterday morn- ing after it seeped through a crack in a bunker barge.

Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) has begun investigating the oil spill. MSQ general manager Captain John Watkinson said the incident oc- curred about 11am yesterday, near Auckland Point, when the vessel MV Larcom discharged bilge water.

It was believed the heavy fuel may have seeped into the bilge water through a crack in a tank. MSQ responded by launching a skimmer vessel and boom to the area to contain the oil.

'It was fortuitous the incident hap- pened on high water keeping the oil well contained however some oil has washed ashore onto the beach and rocky areas and near the marina,' Capt Watkinson said.

Anti-pollution response officers re- moved the majority of the oil to mini- mize effects.

'By this afternoon there were only minor streaks of oil remaining in the water and patches along the beach which are currently being cleaned up by ports authority officers,' Capt Watkinson said.

The cost of the clean-up exercise will be covered by the polluter.



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