|Photo courtesy of the Sunshine Coast Regional Council|
A major oil spill in
coastal waters affected beaches and estuaries from the Sunshine Coast to Moreton Island between March 10 and March 13, 2009. The incident was the subject of a court order during October 2011. Queensland
The Pacific Adventurer was compromised when 31 containers fell off the ship and breached the hull releasing 270 tonnes of heavy fuel oil. Conditions on the sea at the time of the accident were cyclonic.
"Clean-up operations continued for two months. A total of about 2,500 people were deployed for the entire clean-up including workers from many agencies including Maritime Safety Queensland, the Department of Environment and Resource Management, local regional councils, Emergency Management Queensland, as well as workers from QR, Road Tek, Skilled and private contractors, the State Emergency Service, Queensland Police Service and the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service. AMSA personnel as well as 72 members of the National Response Team from all States/NT, the oil industry and contractors also providing assistance during the period. At the height of the response operation 400 response personnel were working on Moreton Island each day" (See full AMSA article here)
The ship's registered owners, Bluewind Shipping and Swire Navigation pleaded guilty. They were fined $1.2m having already paid $17.5 million in liability, made a $7.4m donation to an environment trust and also paid $1.8m to help with the clean up.