North West Wales

Oil fears calmed after tug sinks in Holyhead harbour

A tugboat has sunk in Holyhead harbour on Anglesey, causing initial concern about the effects of leaking fuel oil.

It is believed there are up to six tonnes of diesel and about 50 litres of sump oil on board.

But the Environment Agency Wales said no serious damage was expected as the fuel on board does not have the "devastating impact" of other pollutants.

The 17.5m (57ft) vessel was reported sinking in the early hours of Tuesday.

However, David Edwell, the north Wales area manager for the agency, said wildlife or the aquatic environment could be affected by the diesel.

"From what we currently know we don't expect this to develop into a serious environmental incident," he said.

"However we'll make sure we keep a close eye on developments and will provide advice as it's required from the organisations who are leading this operation."

In a statement the harbour owners Stena Line said the tug the JC sank at its berth in approximately 3m of water.

"No persons were aboard the tug, however as with all such incidents the Harbour Authority has activated its 'oil pollution plan' and engaged in booming up the vessel at Holyhead and is currently deploying a clean-up operation."

The Environment Agency and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency were also notified, it added.

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