Warning issued over drifting 600-tonne River Taw vessel

Severn Sands
Image caption The 600-tonne vessel is being closely monitored

People have been advised to stay away from a stricken coaster on the River Taw in north Devon.

Plans to recover and move the former dredger from Fremington earlier were unsuccessful.

The 600-tonne Severn Sands started moving on Thursday night on the spring tide.

An emergency environmental assessment has been made and the vessel is being closely monitored.

Nearby houseboats were evacuated on Friday night as the vessel drifted towards the river bank.

A statement issued by Devon County Council said: "Urgent action is being taken to temporarily secure the vessel in its current location against tonight's high tide."

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency, North Devon Council, Bideford Harbour Authority and the Environment Agency are also involved with the recovery of the vessel.

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