A COAL bulker grounded outside Gladstone harbour on Tuesday morning, forcing the temporary suspension of shipping services at the central Queensland harbour.

Bulker Maria G.O (IMO 9511428) grounded on a mud bank around 9am AEST following an engine failure. It was later re-floated successfully.

A spokesperson for the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads told Daily Cargo News the vessel remained intact with no sign of damage nor any pollution.

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Gladstone Port tugs responded to the incident towing the ship to deeper water on a rising tide about 11am.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority detained the ship which is to be inspected for damage and seaworthiness before being allowed to continue on its voyage.

“Maritime Safety Queensland takes any shipping incident in our state ports extremely seriously and is investigating this matter,” the TMR spokesperson said.

Pollution responders and equipment are said to be remain on standby as a precaution.

Maria G.O is flagged in the Marshall Islands and was launched in 2011.

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