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Swire Shipping sends Australian government apology letter

Swire Shipping sends Australian government apology letter

Sydney:  China Navigation Company subsidiary Swire Shipping has apologised to Premier Anna Bligh and Governor Penelope Wensley for the oil spill from its vessel Pacific Adventurer, which have affected beaches across southeast Queensland. In a letter written by Swire Shipping md Richard Kendall and John Swire & Sons Australia chairman and ceo Bill Rothery, the company stated that it accepted its responsibilities and would continue to do so.

"We write to you to express our sincere regret to you, your government and all the residents of, and visitors to, Queensland -- in particular those that have been directly affected -- for the fuel oil spill from our cargo vessel," the letter said.

The company said it appreciated the effort that the locals had made to clean up the spill and it would do all it could to help mitigate the spill and to ensure another such incident was avoided.

"All relevant staff have made themselves available to the appropriate authorities involved in this most regrettable accident," the letter read. "We have accepted our responsibilities in relation to it and continue to do so."

According to local media, the company fines of up to A$1.5m in addition what is shaping up to be a very expensive clean up operation. Additionally, the ship's master may be fined up to A$500,000.

This letter comes just as the Australian navy has confirmed the location of 24 of the 31 containers that fell overboard during the incident.  [26/03/09]