With authorities still assessing the scale of the environmental impact from the bunker spill in February of the Solomon Trader bulk carrier, the same remote bay in the Solomon Islands has been struck by another dire marine casualty. The water around Kangava Bay on Rennell Island has turned a rusty brown colour after 5,000 tonnes of bauxite fell into the sea from a barge on Monday, according to a report in the UK’s Guardian newspaper.
Bintan Mining Solomon Islands has suspended loading operations since the accident as authorities mull how to clean up this latest accident. This is the third barge spill this year.
Local resident Derek Pongi confirmed the bauxite spill in conversation with Splash today, saying, “It does not look good to the eye.”
The Solomon Trader became this year’s most high profile dry bulk casualty when it ran aground in the same bay five months ago, leaking around 80 tonnes of bunker fuel near a reef that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.