Two ships have had near misses with outer reef in past month
There have been fresh calls in Australia for better protection of the Great Barrier Reef after a 45,000-tonne vessel almost ran aground over the weekend.
A 186-metre ship broke down and was adrift in the Coral Sea for some 48 hours before tugs were able to reach it – during which time it came perilously close to grounding on the outlying Shark Reef, AFP reported.
Australian Reef Pilots chief executive Simon Meyjes told the news agency that it was the second such incident in the past month.
In response, he believes the rules should be amended so that vessels are forced to travel in the shipping lanes inside the reef.
“Inside the Great Barrier Reef, they are in shallower and protected waters. They can anchor. And obviously they are much closer to help and the response time is much less,” he explained.
The world’s largest coral reef and one of the seven natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef comprises over 3,000 individual reef systems and coral cays.
Written by Nicholas Scott
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