4 Sep 2006

Oil tanker sinks near New Caledonian Lifou island

6:55 pm on 4 September 2006

An oil tanker has sunk off New Caledonia's Lifou island after apparently experiencing generator and later engine problems.

The ship, the Saint Vincent, was owned by New Caledonia's Compagnie Maritime des Iles.

The French high commission says mystery surrounds the incident.

It says no oil spill is expected, since the tanks were empty at the time of the incident.

Responding to a distress call from the ship, the French army sent a helicopter to rescue all ten crew member from their life raft.