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Authorities monitoring grounded tug

The Environment Division and marine authorities are monitoring a tug boat washed ashore near Burnie this morning.

The Fullerton Cove, operated by North Western Shipping and Towage, broke its mooring overnight and ran aground at Wivenhoe.

It has about 20,000 litres of diesel on board and is being buffeted by strong winds and heavy seas.

Adverse weather conditions have delayed an attempt to pull the stranded vessel off the sand.

The Director of Environmental Management, Warren Jones, said there is no immediate threat of a diesel spill. However, the rough weather has prevented the deployment of a fuel containment boom as a precaution.

He said Tasports staff are monitoring the situation and have despatched an experienced incident controller to inspect the site. Additional staff on stand-by.

"The Environment Division is liaising with the Burnie City Council in the unlikely event of a foreshore cleanup," Warren said.

"The two agencies have an inventory of oil spill equipment and as a precautionary measure DPIW’s RMC division has despatched an oil spill response kit to the site."

State Emergency Service volunteers will monitor the vessel overnight and a rescue attempt will be made tomorrow.

Media interest in the grounding was high with Warren and senior environmental officer Rosemary Holness, based in Burnie, responding to requests for television, radio and newspaper interviews.