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A cargo ship is without power and stranded in heavy seas in waters off the Royal National Park in Sydney’s south.

The Portland Bay, which is registered in Hong Kong, left Wollongong this morning but then lost power around 7am.

Early fears were that the ship was adrift, but crew onboard have confirmed the ship is now double anchored around 1km off the coast.

A ship is adrift off the coast near Sydney.
A ship is adrift off the coast near Sydney. (Nine)

A tugboat has been sent to help point the bow of the boat out to sea, and another is on the way which will be able to pull it further from the coastline.

It won’t arrive for three hours.

An initial plan was to have the ship’s 21 crew airlifted off, but conditions have rendered that rescue unsafe.

A total of eight crew have been taken off via tug.

“There are 21 crewmembers on board and there was thought of airlifting some of those crewmembers of the vessel,” Australian Defence Force Brigadier Robert Lording said.

Floodwater rescues as Sydney hit by heavy rain

“I have spoken to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority which indicated they believe it is unsafe to do that at this present time and they have delayed that rescue mission.”

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