Chinese ship leaks oil near Great Barrier Reef
Sydney: A Chinese coal carrier is leaking oil after running aground near Australia`s Great Barrier Reef, authorities said Sunday.
The Shen Neng 1 became stuck on a shoal 70 kilometres (43 miles) east of Great Keppel Island off the Queensland coast late Saturday.
"Initial air and sea assessments of a Chinese bulk coal carrier that has run aground off central Queensland show some oil patches near the ship," the state government said in a statement Sunday.
"Early-morning flights over the carrier show a small number of oil patches about two nautical miles south-east from the ship. To date there has been no major loss of oil from the ship."
Authorities are expected to spray chemical dispersant on the spilled oil later Sunday if weather conditions are favourable.
The 230-metre carrier, which is carrying about 65,000 tonnes of coal and has 950 tonnes of oil onboard, is likely to be towed to port.
The incident follows a large oil spill from the container carrier Pacific Adventurer in March 2009, which polluted Moreton Island and Sunshine Coast beaches.
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