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Another Oil Leak Nightmare Made in Australia

Posted by feww on April 4, 2010

Serial No  1,533. If any posts are blocked in your country, please drop us a line.

Australia Scores Yet Another Double Whammy

Chinese-registered bulk coal carrier runs aground Great Barrier Reef leaking oil.

Shen Neng I, a 230-meter (754-ft) ship on its way to China, ran aground on a shoal on Saturday, with 950 metric tons of heavy fuel oil on board, officials said, Reuters reported.


Oil is leaking from the Chinese bulk coal carrier Shen Neng I, about 70 km  east of Great Keppel Island April 4, 2010. Credit:Maritime Safety Queensland/Handout/ via Reuters

The authorities said patches of oil had been spotted in the water, near where the ship ran aground.

“Early morning flights over the carrier show a small number of oil patches about two nautical miles southeast from the ship. To date there has been no major loss of oil from the ship,” Queensland’s state government said.

The  ship was carrying 65,000 metric tons of coal from the port of Gladstone in Queensland to China.

Anna Bligh, Queensland Premier,  was concerned the ship could  break up. This time, her fears are fully justified. It would take a miracle for the ship NOT to break up!

“We are now very worried we might see further oil discharged from this ship,” she was reported as saying.

“It is in danger of actually breaking a number of its main structures and breaking into a number of parts,” said Patrick Quirk, general manager of Maritime Safety Queensland.

By far the most prophetic comment, however, came from Capricorn Conservation Council spokesman Ian Herbert, who reportedly  told the Australian Associated Press: “We can be certain that this is a sign of things to come.”

“We are outraged that no marine pilot is required on ships between Gladstone and Cairns,” he said.

“A year ago, Moreton Island, yesterday Great Keppel Island, next year — who knows where?” Herbert said referring to two of Australia’s oil pollutions.

The Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef, world’s largest coral reef system,  is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland,  northeast Australia. It’s made up of nearly 3,000 separate  reefs and about 1,000 islands that extend over 2,600 kilometers (1,600 miles) covering an area of about 350,000 square kilometers (135,000 sq miles).

The Great Barrier Reef is one of Australia’s, the world’s, marine and climatic life insurance policies.


This nadir true-color image was acquired by the MISR instrument on August 26, 2000 (Terra orbit 3679), and shows part of the southern portion of the reef adjacent to the central Queensland coast. The width of the MISR swath is approximately 380 kilometers, with the reef clearly visible up to approximately 200 kilometers from the coast. If you retrieve the higher resolution version, a zoomed display reveals the spectacular structure of the many reefs.
Source: NASA/GSFC/LaRC/JPL, MISR . Click image to enlarge. Full-Res (JPEG): PIA03401.jpg (414 kB)

Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ)

MSQ general manager Patrick Quirk said the ship was badly damaged on its port side (left side).

“We are still very concerned about the ship. It is in danger of actually breaking a number of its main structures and breaking into a number of parts,” he said.

The Double Whammy?

Just imagine the combined impact of a massive oil spill and humongous avalanche of toxic coal on the fragile reefs, and marine life…

Just how much more dirty energy before you say enough is enough?

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6 Responses to “Another Oil Leak Nightmare Made in Australia”

  1. […] Another Oil Leak Nightmare Made in Australia […]

  2. […] Another Oil Leak Nightmare Made in Australia […]

  3. Rick said

    can’t believe anyone would be so stupid as to foul their own doorstep. so to speak, least of all aussies.
    isn’t the great barrier reef a major tourist attraction?

  4. Ted B. said

    Do you happen to know who is responsible for allowing ships to navigate between Gladstone and Cairns without a marine pilot? Would be the QLD state or the federal govt?

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