ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS: A barge sunk in the Bellinger River on Saturday afternoon prompting a fire and rescue and maritime response to contain leaking fuel.
ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS: A barge sunk in the Bellinger River on Saturday afternoon prompting a fire and rescue and maritime response to contain leaking fuel. Frank Redward

Effort to contain leaking fuel after barge sinks in river

A BARGE has sunk in the Bellinger River this afternoon, south of Coffs Harbour, with concerns that hundreds of litres of diesel could spill from the vessel creating considerable environmental concerns. 

An emergency response led by Fire and Rescue NSW, Hazmat crews and Transport NSW's Maritime Unit is underway after the call was placed around midday.  

Mid North Coast Fire and Rescue NSW Duty Commander Gavin Muller said a boom is being placed around the sunken barge to contain any leaking fuel. 

The top of the barge is still visible above the surface of the river at Repton, close to the Norco Factory off Keevers Drive. 

It is understood the barge could have as much as 500-litres of fuel on board.  

The barge is used to extract sand from a shallow point in the river near the old Repton bridge. 

The nearest Bellinger River oyster leases are about 2km away from the location.

The next high tide peaks at around 10pm on Saturday with the river currently flowing out to sea at Urunga. 

Bellinger River where the barge has sunk near Repton.
Bellinger River where the barge has sunk near Repton.

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