A STRICKEN LPG tanker is currently being towed out of Pembrokeshire waters after being anchored off the coast in heavy seas.

The Liberian-registered Seagas Major left the Milford Haven waterway on Wednesday evening, where she had been berthed at Valero.

She developed engine trouble on Thursday morning while 11 miles south-west of St Ann's Head.

Two tugboats were sent to assist but were not able to tow the 100m long vessel back to port.

The Seagas Major has since been under anchor to the south of St Govan's Head awaiting the arrival of a tug which has towing ability from the stern.

At around midday today, Saturday February 20, the Seagas Major, registered in 1999 and with a carrying capacity of 4,278 cubic metres. was taken under tow by the French-registered tug Bever.

This followed an unsuccessful attempt the previous day, when another tug's tow parted and could not be reconnected.

It is understood that the destination of the Seagas Major and the Bever is Avonmouth in Bristol where the tanker will be repaired.

The operation is under the supervision of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

In a statement issued this afternoon, they said:

"On Thursday morning (18th February), a tanker vessel – with 14 people on board – reported engine difficulties and a loss of power 11 nautical miles south-west of St Ann’s Head.

"In the early hours of Friday (19th February), the tanker was taken under tow by a tug, however due to the strong weather conditions, the tug reported that the tow had parted and was unable to reconnect.

"Another tug is now on scene with the vessel and a tow has been connected. The vessel will be towed to a place of safety for repairs.

"The crew and vessel will continue to be monitored and plans are in place to support the vessel until it reaches port."