19 Aug 2004

Containers offloaded from ship on Futuna reef

3:23 pm on 19 August 2004

It's reported salvage teams have begun offloading containers from a ship which has run aground on a reef in Wallis and Futuna.

The Southern Moana has been stuck on Futuna's reef since the end of last month.

The newspaper Les Nouvelles Caledoniennes reports a helicopter yesterday winched a number of containers off the vessel, and flew them to a football field on the nearby island of Wallis.

An Australian salvage company hopes to use two tugboats to shunt the ship off the reef when its load has been lightened enough.

The newspaper reports a French navy patrol boat will keep a watch on the operation.