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Reef Report for Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Grounded Coal Carrier Refloated
Damage to reef appears minor

For those of you that have not heard, the Coal Carrier that had grounded itself on a shoal inside the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park has been successfully refloated, and is no longer leaking.

The ship will be taken to a safe anchorage for a detailed examination, to assure the integrity of the hull and make any emergency repairs needed to protect the Marine Park.

Authorities are also assessing the damage done by the ship to the shoal it was grounded on. It appears that most of the damage was caused by the movement of the hull of this massive vessel crunching the coral underneath.

Both the Govenor of Queensland and Austrialian Prime Minister have called for incresed fines and better regulation of ship traffic within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. We fully support these efforts. Just since this grounding crew members of a second ship were arrested and cited for taking a short cut between two protected reefs. Unregulated travel by large ships through the Great Barrier Reef needs to be stopped, and let's hope both these incidents serve as a warning that increased regulation, and more responsible behavior is needed.

Coverage of this story, from The Australian

(C) DiveTheReef The weekly reef report is written by Joel Groberg of DiveTheReef.com, who compiles them from the many conversations he has with dive staff in the area, as well as  many other local sources in the dive community.

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