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.