Posted: Apr 5, 2010 8:16 AM by Associated Press
Workers are hurrying to contain an oil spill today from a coal-carrying ship grounded on Australia's
ecologically sensitive Great Barrier Reef.
A tugboat has been sent to stabilize the vessel so that it would not break apart and further damage the fragile coral beneath.
Traveling at full speed, the Chinese-registered ship rammed into Douglas Shoals late Saturday, about 9 miles outside normal shipping lanes. The area has shipping restrictions in order to protect what is the world's largest coral reef and one that is listed as a World Heritage site.
Officials say About 2 tons of oil have already spilled from the 1,000 tons of fuel on board, creating a 100-yard slick that stretches 2 miles.
Salvage efforts could take weeks.