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Australia sends help as Solomons fight bunker slick near UNESCO site

The Solomon Islands is seeking help from Australia as bunker fuel seeps from a grounded bulker near the world’s largest raised coral atoll.

A breach has opened up on the Solomon Trader, and a slick has been detected.

The ship ran aground while loading bauxite near the East Rennell world heritage site 16 days ago. Salvage operations have been hampered by a cyclone, although the weather has improved in recent days.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority is sending a Hercules C130 military plane with clean-up gear, and a naval ship with equipment is set to be diverted to help.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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