Trawler salvage attempt

THE Great Barrier Reef Marine Authority (GBRMA) last night made attempts to salvage a fishing trawler that ran aground on Lady Elliot Island.

GBRMA worked closely with the Maritime Safety Queensland, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and the vessel owner to coordinate the salvage of the trawler that ran aground on Thursday morning.

Yesterday afternoon additional salvage expertise and a tug boat were on standby at Lady Elliot Island in preparation for the event.

A GBRMA spokeswoman said its main focus was ensuring minimal damage to the reef.

"High tide provides the best opportunity of getting the vessel off the reef flat - as the high water level will assist in floating the trawler," she said.

The vessel was carrying 36,000 litres of diesel which was contained in its fuel tanks. There was an initial but minor fuel spill when the vessel ran aground, but that did not affect the reef or Lady Elliot Island.