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Incidents spark fuel spill alerts

The Environment Division was called out to two potentially serious fuel spill incidents in Southern Tasmania this week.

State oil pollution control officer John Dobson was on his way to a vessel salvage operation at Lewisham when he was diverted to Cambridge to another fuel-related issue involving a light aircraft which had made an emergency landing at Cambridge aerodrome.

A Cessna 172 Skyhawk had overshot the runway, crashed through a barbed-wire fence and skidded to a halt on the adjacent roadway.

The pilot and two passengers escaped injury and but John said there was a fear of a major spill of avgas from the damaged aircraft.

He said the emergency response was swift and when he arrived on the scene the Tasmania Fire Service had "foamed down" about 60 litres of fuel leaking on to the roadway.

About 100 litres of fuel were pumped from the plane's fuel tank before a crane lifted the damaged aircraft.

Police praised the emergency response as well-managed and timely.

His "precautionary" asssignment fulfilled, John continued down to Lewisham where the retrieval of the vessel Sea Dawn II from the shallows was performed without incident.

Oil spill absorbent boom and pads were sourced from the Environment Division to surround the vessel during the salvage operation.

John said the salvage had the potential to leak 200 litres of fuel but fortunately it was a "clean" operation.

Sea Dawn II washed ashore during the stormy weather and king tides earlier this month.

Thanks to John for the great photos.