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Australia threatens legal action against Shen Neng 1 owner and master

Australia threatens legal action against Shen Neng 1 owner and master

Brisbane: Australia is threatening legal action both the owners and master of the Chinese bulker Shen Neng 1, aground off the Great barrier reef. The 69,110 dwt, Shen Neng 1, owned by Shenzhen Energy Transport, ran aground on Douglas Shoal, east of Rockhampton near Great Keppel Island, on April 3, spilling a small amount of bunker fuel. The ship, bound for China, was 15km out off course when it hit the reef at full speed. Queensland Premier Ann Bligh charges could be laid against the shipping company owners as well as the ship's captain, ABC reported. "This ship is in Australian waters and the investigation will be undertaken by Commonwealth authorities," Bligh said. "I think the book should be thrown at this organisation. This is a very delicate part of one of the most precious marine environments on earth and there are safe, authorised shipping channels and that's where this ship should have been," she said. There are concerns the vessel could break up. Patrick Quirk, general manager of Maritime Safety Queensland, said the initial damage report was that the main engine room was breached, the main engine damaged and the rudder seriously damaged. "One of the most worrying aspects is that the ship is still moving on the reef to the action of the seas, which is doing further damage," he said. [05/04/10]

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