Help arrives for massive fuel-laden barge stranded near Bella Bella, B.C.

Marine rescue officials say a commercial tug has arrived to try and save a stranded U.S. barge with millions of litres of fuel onboard off the coast of Bella Bella, B.C.

A tug crew is now determining the safest way to pull the barge  which stretches longer than a football field  to safety.

The Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Victoria (JRCC) says the Zidell Marine 277 broke free from its tug, the Jake Shearer, around 3:45 p.m. PT Sunday.

Two Canadian Coast Guard vessels  the Gordon Reid and Cape St. James stayed on scene overnight to monitor the situation after crews dropped the stranded barge's anchor.

"There is no damage to the barge. All the fuel is contained inside. The wind died down overnight. So right now we are just monitoring everything," said Katelyn Moores, a JRCC spokesperson.

The 130-metre Zidell Marine 277 barge is located about 1.6 kilometres from the Goose Group islands and 45 kilometres from Bella Bella.

"It's a pretty exposed area," Moores explained yesterday.

Moores said the vessel is carrying 3.5 million litres of diesel along with 468,000 litres of gasoline.

Meanwhile, two of three other tugboats that were nearby when the barge broke free have been asked to assist, the JRCC said.

Officials had hoped to move the vessel by late Sunday, but strong 45 knot winds hampe....

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