A Malaysian ship, the Bunga Teratai Satu, that had been stuck on the Great Barrier Reef off the northeast coast of Australia for 12 days was tugged to freedom earlier today. Enviros were unhappy that rescuers had to blast away coral with dynamite to get the ship loose; fortunately, the blast did not cause any leaks of the ship’s hazardous cargo, which includes pesticides and fungicides. There was no pilot aboard when the ship ran a-reef, 4.5 miles off course from its journey between Singapore and Sydney. The ship’s captain has pleaded guilty to negligence and damaging the reef. In the wake of the accident, the World Wildlife Fund plans to push for pilots to be required on all ships in Australian waters, and enviros would also like ships carrying dangerous cargo banned from the Great Barrier Reef area.
Get Grist in your inbox