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BUNKER INDEX :: Price Index, News and Directory Information for the Marine Fuel Industry
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New bunker spill off Australia

Vessels collide causing diesel leak in Australia's Northern Territory.



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Updated on 17 Apr 2009 07:01 GMT

A fishing trawler carrying approximately 2000 litres of marine diesel has collided with a bulk carrier causing a fuel spill off the coast of Australia's Northern Territory, local media sources report.

The incident is said to have taken place west of Groote Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpentaria around 3am yesterday. The 11.5 metre fishing vessel was damaged in the crash and toppled on its side, causing diesel to leak from its breather pipe.

The diesel spill is reported to be 3 kilometres long and around 500 metres wide. It is not yet known how much fuel spilled into the water.

Following yesterday's collision, the Northern Territory's Department of Planning and Infrastructure's (DPI) Marine Safety Branch activated its Oil Spill Management Response Team.

Commenting on the spill, DPI transport services executive director Nick Papadonakis played down the incident, saying "Given prevailing weather and tidal conditions the diesel is likely to dissipate quite quickly and is not heading for any landfall that houses sites of conservation significance."

Papadonakis added that the department's marine safety branch was working with environmental assessment and monitoring staff from the Department of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport to ensure that there were no environmental concerns.

The damaged fishing vessel was towed to Connexion Island, where it was expected to be anchored overnight in North East Bay before being towed to Alyangula today.

Whilst at anchor in the bay the vessel has been surrounded by fuel booms to contain any further diesel spillage.






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