Container Ship Stuck On New Zealand’s Reef

Posted October 5th, 2011 at 4:10 pm (UTC-5)
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A container ship is stranded on a reef off the port of Tauranga on New Zealand's North Island.

Officials say none of the 25 crew members on board were injured when the Liberian-flagged ship ran aground Wednesday. The 47,000-ton vessel is listing and has a few holes in the hull, but appears to be stable on the reef. Pumps are working to remove water from the cargo hold.

The Associated Press says the vessel has 1,700 tons of heavy fuel aboard. New Zealand's maritime officials have confirmed there are some dangerous goods aboard the ship, without identifying them.

An oil response team is standing by to contain any spillage and provide advice. Some hydraulic oil has leaked from the ship, but officials say it poses no environmental hazard.

It is not clear how the 236-meter ship came to hit the reef.

Salvage experts and ship owners are looking into ways of refloating it without causing environmental damage.