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Oil spill fears over sunken boat dismissed

By Chris McCullough

The condition of a boat that sank in Strangford Lough earlier this year has deteriorated, causing fears of a fuel leak.

The lough is an environmentally sensitive area and Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong called for immediate action to prevent any potential damage.

The boat at Portaferry quay foundered in January, causing some diesel spillage.

Ards and North Down Council said: "Regular checks are made and debris is removed to prevent it floating into the lough."

It added that a dive inspection last month had deemed the vessel as being "stable".

"The agencies do not believe there will be any long-term environmental impacts from the diesel leakage that occurred when the vessel first sank," it said.

"There is no reason to believe there is a risk of any further diesel spillage."

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