Pattaya Daily News

13 April 2010 :: 11:04:44 am 18108

Australian Salvage Crews Successfully Refloat Stricken Coal Carrier

Salvage teams working off the Great Barrier Reef successfully refloated the Chinese bulk coal carrier Shen Neng 1 on Monday, avoiding a possible environmental disaster in the pristine maritime waters.
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Australia, the 13th of April 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: Salvage teams moved the Chinese registered ship on Monday, without spilling any more of the 300,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil into the sea. The 230 meter vessel is now being towed to an area east of Great Keppel Island where divers will now assess the damage done to the ship’s hull.

The Shen Neng 1 ran aground on the 3rd of April after venturing into the protected maritime region, well offcourse of the designated shipping routes that pass the East coast of Australia. General Manager of Marine Safety Queensland confirmed; “The refloat was a success. Salvers spent an hour-and-a-half assessing the vessel’s stability and watching for any evidence of further oil spills. Our intention has always been to keep oil loss to a minimum so we could take it to safe anchorage.”

On Monday, a Panama-flagged bulk carrier, the MV Mimosa, was charged with illegally entering the restricted area after authorities on patrol observed them taking a ‘shortcut’ through the region. South Korean Gang Chun Han, 63, and Vietnam’s Tran Tan Thanh and Nguyen Van Sang, the crew of the vessel, face maximum fines of A$225,000 ($205,000).

Australian officials have accused the ship’s of taking an illegal route through the reef, listed as a World Heritage site, promising to investigate claims that the ships were taking a ‘shortcut’ through the region. Environmental laws bar shipping in the area, in an attempt to protect the area, which is the world’s largest natural coral reef.

The Great Barrier Reef sprawls along some 3,000 kilometers of Australian coast, and is home to thousands of marine species and is a major tourist attraction.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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