April 6, 2010

Barrier Reef Oil Spill

A terrible ecological tragedy is afoot in Australia, where authorities are scrambling to minimize the damage caused by a possible oil spill in the great barrier reef.

The ship, a Chinese vessel carrying coal as well as oil, was in a restricted area, in waters where such a ship is not supposed to go, and the ship's crew is now being questioned by Australian officials. Tugboats are being used to try and prevent further damage.

"We've always said the vessel is up in an area it shouldn't be in the first place," said a government official "How it got to that to that position will be the subject of a detailed investigation by the Australian Transport Safety Board."

Said another, "This is a very delicate part of one of the most precious marine environments on earth and there are safe authorized shipping channels -- and that's where this ship should have been."

It seems there has been no actual major oil spill yet but they fear the ship will break apart further while being salvaged, thus causing much greater damage than the reefs have suffered so far.

Barrier Reef Oil Spill

The crew of a coal-carrying ship that ran aground on Australia's Great Barrier Reef and is leaking oil will be questioned Tuesday about why their vessel was in a restricted area, an official said. Two tugboats were sent Monday to stabilize the Chinese-registered Shen Neng 1 so that it would not break apart and further damage the fragile coral beneath. Late Saturday, the Shen Neng 1 rammed into Douglas Shoals, an area that has shipping restrictions in order to protect what is the world's largest coral reef and one that is listed as a World Heritage site because of its gleaming waters and environmental value as home to thousands of marine species...

Barrier Reef Oil Spill

Posted at April 6, 2010 2:53 AM