Oil spill coats Australian beaches

March 12th, 2009 - 4:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, March 12 (DPA) A clean-up was under way on Australia’s east coast Thursday after beaches were coated with oil that leaked from a container vessel damaged in rough seas.
The oil has begun washing up on eight kilometres of beaches in Moreton Bay near Brisbane and there are fears that slicks will also spoil beaches on the Sunshine Coast.

The Hong Kong-owned Pacific Adventurer lost 31 containers of ammonium nitrate that toppled overboard Wednesday. One of the tumbling boxes punctured a fuel tank and let 30 tonnes of oil flood into Moreton Bay.

The 180-metre vessel is now safely at anchor in Moreton Bay but aerial searches have failed to locate any of the containers.

Tanglalooma Resort manager Trevor Hassard told national broadcaster ABC that “the potential for this to become an absolute disaster is really right there”.

Beaches, reefs and wildlife are also in danger from the oil spill.

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