Shipping buoy runs aground at North Fremantle

The rogue buoy is towed back from Leighton Beach this morning.  Picture: Jon Bassett.
The rogue buoy is towed back from Leighton Beach this morning. Picture: Jon Bassett.

SHIP captains entering Fremantle Harbour are without a vital navigation buoy after one broke free and ran aground near Leighton Beach, North Fremantle this morning.

“Immediately, an official warning to shipping was issued that the physical buoy was not in place and a virtual, electronic, navigation aid was put into operation,” a port spokesman said.

The spokesman said monitoring alerted the port to the floating buoy, which marks the entrance to the inner harbour near North Mole, after it broke free about midnight last night.

He said shipping safety was not affected because the device was monitored as it floated towards the beach, which is about 3km to the north east of the mole.

About 7am, a small tug towed the buoy back to the port where the cause of its drifting away from its position will be investigated.

The spokesman said a spare buoy will be deployed in three to four days to restore the port to full navigation standards.