Solomon Trader Grounding Turns into Environmental Disaster
An estimated 60 tonnes of oil has spilled from the 73,592 dwt bulker Solomon Trader, which ran aground on a reef in the Solomon Islands, local media cited the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
A further 600 tonnes of oil remain onboard the vessel, according to AMSA estimates.
The accident was dubbed an environmental disaster, three weeks after the 1994-built vessel dragged anchor and grounded on a reef off Rennell Island, near the largest raised coral atoll in the world, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
“Australia is concerned about the unfolding environmental disaster caused by the MV Solomon Trader oil spill on Rennell Island. We are exploring all options to assist the Solomon Islands Government to hold the responsible company, owners and insurers to account,” Roderick Brazier, High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, informed via social media.
The incident occurred in inclement weather conditions while Solomon Trader was trying to load bauxite from a foreign-owned mine on the island. Unfavorable weather conditions, caused by Cyclone Oma, hampered earlier attempted salvage operations.
World Maritime News Staff; Image Courtesy: Roderick Brazier, High Commissioner to Solomon Islands